Non-Support of Microsoft/Great Plains Acquisition

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With the ink on the Microsoft/Great Plains still wet, analysts have begun offering their opinions of just how good a deal this is for the accounting-technology sector: not all analysts approve of the buy.

"This is a real sea change for Microsoft," said Dwight Davis, vice president of Summit Strategies, a research firm in Boston. He sees the move as Redmond reneging on promises to keep its hands off of certain industry segments. Davis believes that the news will mortify not only competitors of Great Plains, but also many Microsoft partners.

Davis expects Microsoft to make more acquisitions to meet its goal to build a full suite of business process applications. He also thinks that Microsoft may gradually shift into supplying applications for the large enterprise space, and even eventually competing directly with Oracle in this market as well as in the database market.

"Microsoft denied that Oracle is a factor here, but Oracle, like all enterprise players, is trying to move down-market through the ASP (Application Service Provider) channel," according to Davis. ".Net has been little more than a vision to this point and remains one."

Positive and somewhat pessimistic opinions can be found in an article that ran in The Standard.

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