Ed. Note – This press release was issued today, and since both MS and Intuit are betting so much on hosted services, I thought it was an important release for you, the gentle reader. I have not edited or otherwise modified the release, other than inserting this comment, so this content is solely the responsibility of its authors – Intuit and Microsoft - BFT
Companies Expand Cloud Opportunity for Developers and Channel Partners
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. and REDMOND, Wash. – Jan. 20, 2010 – Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) plan to create new opportunities for software developers to deliver and market Web applications to small business customers through the Intuit App Center. The two companies plan to integrate the capabilities of their cloud services platforms – the Intuit Partner Platform and Windows® Azure platform™ – to enable developers and channel partners to deliver solutions to the millions of employees within businesses that use QuickBooks® financial software. In addition, the two companies will provide small businesses with Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity applications via the Intuit App Center.
Intuit will name Windows Azure as a “preferred platform” for small business cloud application development on the Intuit Partner Platform. The companies expect this to jump-start development and distribution of new Web-based applications to help small businesses in today’s challenging economy. The free Windows Azure software development kit (SDK) (Beta) for Intuit Partner Platform is available today at http://developer.intuit.com/azure.
“Intuit and Microsoft are trusted technology partners to small business,” said Walid Abu-Hadba, Microsoft Corporate Vice-President of the Developer & Platform Evangelism organization. “By combining the pooled technology assets of our developer communities, we stand to produce an outpouring of new applications to help small businesses enhance their competitive edge.”
Immense Ecosystem of Developers and Channel Partners Benefits Small Businesses
As two leading technology platform providers to small businesses, Intuit and Microsoft are creating a vast ecosystem of more than 750,000 development firms and channel partners to create more new innovative applications and services that will reach the market more quickly.
· For Microsoft developers, the ability to develop applications for Intuit’s loyal customers will open a new landscape of sales prospects looking for small business solutions.
· For Intuit’s developer community, Microsoft provides a cloud platform and tools that will boost developer productivity and expand the possibilities to extend Intuit’s core application functionality.
“Intuit is driven to help small businesses succeed by improving their bottom line,” said Bill Lucchini, Vice President and General Manager of Intuit’s Platform as a Service Group. “The Intuit App Center is a huge breakthrough, allowing us to get innovative apps that solve real problems in users’ hands faster than ever before. Now, Microsoft developers can enhance their businesses with access to the small business channel, the Intuit App Center will get stronger and small businesses will reap the rewards of all this innovation.”
“The Windows Azure SDK for Intuit Partner Platform is great news for .NET and Intuit Partner Platform developers,” said Joe Dwyer, CTO of Propelware, a longstanding member of the Intuit Developer Network, specializing in integrating software applications with QuickBooks. “Our developers are already very familiar with Visual Studio, and with the Windows Azure platform, we will no longer have to worry about maintenance, reliability and scale and can focus on creating richer applications for small businesses faster and respond quickly as their needs change.”
New Opportunities for Developers and Channel Partners
The Intuit Partner Platform will give Windows Azure developers the ability to build applications that their customers can use to take advantage of their QuickBooks data. In addition, developers get instant access to a pre-built channel for acquiring customers – a potential market of millions of employees at small businesses that use QuickBooks. A simple click from the QuickBooks Pro and Premier 2010 toolbar takes small businesses to the Intuit App Center where they can find, buy and use Web-based business applications built on or integrated with the Intuit Partner Platform. Applications in the App Center can also be accessed via any Web browser.
Integrated Microsoft Online Services on the Intuit App Center Later This Year
Later this year, Microsoft plans to make Microsoft Online Services, including Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Office Live Meeting and Microsoft Office Communications Online, available for purchase in the Intuit App Center. These cloud-based applications streamline business communication and collaboration with comprehensive security, high reliability and simplified IT management. As a result, small businesses will have a complete set of high-quality Web applications that deliver the capabilities, flexibility and value they need.
· To download and test the Windows Azure SDK (Beta) for Intuit Partner Platform and other tools, go to http://developer.intuit.com/azure
· To learn more about the Windows Azure platform, visit: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure
· To learn more about the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite, visit: http://www.microsoft.com/online/business-productivity.mspx
· To learn more about the Intuit Partner Platform, visit: http://ipp.developer.intuit.com
· To learn more about upcoming Intuit and Microsoft Activities, visit: http://www.microsoft.com/Intuit
About Intuit Inc.
Intuit Inc. is a leading provider of business and financial management solutions for small and mid-sized businesses; financial institutions, including banks and credit unions; consumers and accounting professionals. Its flagship products and services, including QuickBooks®, Quicken® and TurboTax®, simplify small business management and payroll processing, personal finance, and tax preparation and filing. ProSeries® and Lacerte® are Intuit’s leading tax preparation software suites for professional accountants. The company’s financial institutions division, anchored by Digital Insight, provides on-demand banking services to help banks and credit unions serve businesses and consumers with innovative solutions.
Founded in 1983, Intuit had annual revenue of $3.2 billion in its fiscal year 2009. The company has approximately 7,800 employees with major offices in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, India and other locations. More information can be found at www.intuit.com.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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