Why does a company like Microsoft plan a launch for an ambitious new low-cost software package and then steal its own thunder?

A lot was known about Small Business Accounting before its September 7 debut in Redmond, Wash. Still, companies usually build excitement for major product launches. Microsoft somewhat buried SBA by rolling it out it the same day that it held a mid-market business summit, one that was announced with little lead time. The notice was so short that Randy Johnston, a K2 partner whose favorable review of SBA is posted on the Microsoft Business Solutions part of the Microsoft site, couldn't attend because of a previous comment. The events section of the Microsoft Web site, updated on August 28, shows the business summit, but no word about SBA, whose date was pretty well known.

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