Microsoft looks to wow businesses with new Outlook

Microsoft launched a new version of Outlook 2007 which now includes a Business Contact Manager (BCM), an important step into making Outlook 2007 more than just a grown up Outlook Express.

According to the marketing literature, Outlook 2007 will help the average Outlook user manage customer information more efficiently, launch professional marketing campaigns, and keep track of the best sales opportunities; which are basically some of the most sought after features in online Customer Relationship Management solutions like Salesforce.com.

The new version of Outlook 2007 will be bundled with Office Small Business, Professional and Ultimate Editions although existing customers will not receive any free upgrades to the BCM option for the time being.

The launch marks Microsoft's move to reinforce its small business offerings as Outlook 2007 BCM can seamlessly integrate with Office Accounting 2008; customers can for example send invoices straight from Outlook.

You can download a trial version of Outlook 2007 BCM edition or take an online test drive; as usual though European users are charged the maximum rate; the product costs $149.95 in the states, but a whopping Eur 152.95, nearly 50 percent more expensive.

The company has also released new editions of its Office Accounting financial solution as well as updated Office Accounting Express versions including one specially designed for the UK.