Microsoft is set to launch ERP software aimed at smaller businesses. Dynamics Entrepreneur Solution will be rolled out in Europe first, before its global availability.

The software will provide smaller organisations with finance, purchasing and sales and marketing software. It's aimed at companies employing up to 49 staff and tops out at five concurrent users, according to Barb Edson, director, Microsoft Dynamics.

Along with other ERP companies, Microsoft is looking for ways to attract startups that are starting to outgrow entry-level accountancy software like Intuit 's QuickBooks and are in search of more sophisticated applications on which to run their businesses.

Based on Microsoft's existing Dynamics NAV ERP applications, Entrepreneur can be seen as a stepping stone to the full-blown Dynamics NAV as a company expands its business.

Microsoft said that Entrepreneur itself was more than just a scaled-down version of Dynamics NAV and had been specially developed for small businesses, particularly in terms of cutting back on the need for users to heavily customise the software.

Priced at €795 (£540), Entrepreneur is set to make its debut in Europe as part of a phased worldwide rollout of the software. The product will initially be available in September in Germany, The Netherlands, Spain and the UK. As with Microsoft's other back-office applications, the software will be provided by the vendor's partners.

Microsoft also announced new software to make another one of its ERP families of products, Dynamics AX, accessible from mobile devices. The product enables salespeople to remotely place and track orders, query sales histories and manage advertising campaigns from their Windows Mobile-based devices. The software includes Microsoft Dynamics Mobile Development Tools, which customers and partners can use to build additional mobile offerings based on Dynamics.

At the same time, Microsoft announced an intensification of its existing relationship with Motorola to allow their joint partners to create Dynamics-based applications for some Motorola mobile computers.

Adding mobile extensions to Dynamics AX is just the start, Edson said. The overall plan is to also extend Microsoft's other Dynamics ERP families so that those families of applications can be accessed by mobile devices. As yet the company is not commenting publicly on when such capabilities will become available for Dynamics GP, NAV and SL, she added.