Intuit and Microsoft Join Forces to Deliver Web Apps to Millions of Small Businesses

Companies expand cloud opportunity for developers and channel partners.

Intuit and Microsoft 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

“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.”

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.”

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.

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.

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