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Thursday, May 10, 2007
Microsoft Opts to Build Rather than Buy Business Software

Microsoft seems to prefer to build its own aggressively priced business software rather than looking at possible acquisitions of third party solutions, the company's business division president said on Wednesday.

Microsoft said that its popular SQL Server database management software and its Office suite of applications will attract customers that track business performance.

"I've never been opposed to the idea of looking at players in the industry. We've looked, to be quite honest," Jeff Raikes, president of Microsoft's business division, said in an interview. "We just thought organic development would get us to the real solution faster."

Microsoft's business software competitors, Oracle Corp. and SAP AG , have recently announced acquisitions within the industry. These acquisitions are expected to strengthen both companies in the area of financial statistics, forecasts and evaluation of database data.

Microsoft's vision is for SQL Server software to help companies sort through databases while Office applications like Excel spreadsheets or SharePoint collaboration software would help workers find trends in data.

Microsoft is testing a new product called PerformancePoint Server 2007, which adds programs like budgeting, forecasting, performance management to Office applications.

The product is expected to be ready for launch in the second half of 2007. Microsoft said it would also unveil a new version of SQL Server software in 2008.

Raikes said Microsoft business intelligence products would cost much less than competing software, meaning companies could afford to let more people get access to the software.

Microsoft said it sees sales for the entire business intelligence marketing shrinking even as more people use the software, because its products will be so discounted compared to existing offerings.

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