Microsoft Office Accounting Express 2007, a stripped-down version of the company’s Accounting Professional 2007 software, was downloaded more than one million times in its first three months as a free application.Targeting companies with 25 employees or less, Microsoft released the stripped-down version of its software last October in its latest attempt to become a player in the accounting software space -- targeting businesses that are late adopters and rely on pencil and paper, or Excel, for their bookkeeping needs.

Startups and eBay sellers were among the intended audience and Microsoft bundled a number of third-party services with the free download, some of which -- including payroll process and access to credit reports --- were available for a fee.

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