Oracle and NetLedger Declare War on Microsoft

Oracle Corp., the second largest software company behind Microsoft, has announced a partnership with NetLedger, the online source for financial, marketing, and customer applications software.

Oracle plans to package the NetLedger products with products of its own in the Oracle E-Business Suite for Small Business, and the company will compete head-on with Microsoft's bCentral.com.

Microsoft positioned itself to service small companies with its recent acquisition of Great Plains accounting software. Through bCentral.com, Microsoft offers its 100,000 subscribers Web hosting, an on-line presence where data can be shared, stored, and manipulated using tools for marketing, on-line accounting, e-commerce, database management, and more. The average subscriber pays $30 per month, according to Nigel Burton, bCentral.com's general manager of sales and marketing.

Oracle will charge $99 per month for on-line access to its complete suite of business software applications. The service is targeting companies with fewer than 100 employees. Subscribers will be able to store their own software applications on their premises but have Oracle manage them remotely.

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