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Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)
and Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU) are teaming up to
deliver Web-based applications to small business customers through the Intuit
App Center, calling on their respective .NET
and Intuit Partner Platform Developers to extend existing applications such as
QuickBooks to make them more useful to small businesses.

The two companies say that developers and channel partners will be able to
deliver Web-based solutions to companies that use QuickBooks financial
software. Those small businesses will also be able to take advantage of
Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity applications via the Intuit
App Center.

The Microsoft and Intuit announcement came the same day that Microsoft
urged legislators and the administration to modernize laws
in order to
advance adoption of cloud computing.

The Microsoft-Intuit deal combines the Intuit Partner Platform and Microsoft’s
Windows Azure platform. Intuit says it will name Windows Azure as a “preferred
platform” for small business cloud application development on the Intuit
Partner Platform.

The companies say they expect these moves to “jump-start development and distribution
of new Web-based applications” for small businesses.

The Windows Azure software development kit (SDK) for Intuit Partner Platform is
available free of charge today.

Together, Microsoft and Intuit claim an ecosystem of more than 750,000 development
firms and channel partners that they say will help applications and services
reach the market more quickly.

Microsoft says its developers will get access to a new group of sales prospects
looking for small business solutions, and Intuit says its developers will get
Microsoft’s cloud platform and tools to boost their productivity and expand the
possibilities to extend Intuit’s core application functionality.