In its latest attempt to become a player in the accounting software space, Microsoft had released a free stripped-down version of its software -- targeting small businesses that are late adopters and rely on pencil and paper or Excel for their bookkeeping needs.

Microsoft Office Accounting Express 2007 integrates with other Microsoft Office software and will be included in the Small Business, Professional and Office Ultimate versions of Microsoft Office 2007. While using the free version of Express, users are periodically offered an upgrade to other products in Microsoft’s recently retooled accounting suite, including Office Accounting Professional 2007, which is set for release early next year with a price tag of $149.

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