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Intuit tailors software to small businesses

The personal-finance software maker unveils industry-specific applications to cater to companies in fields such as retail and construction.

Personal-finance software maker Intuit reached out to small businesses Monday by unveiling industry-specific services and announcing plans to buy a business-management software company.

Intuit is developing special versions of its software to cater to businesses in industries such as construction and retail as part of a move to boost sales of its QuickBooks product line. Intuit has felt the heat recently from software makers Oracle and Microsoft, which have released their own software targeting specific markets.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company plans to deliver industry-specific software and services, and to develop accounting tools for large businesses. Intuit is also looking to expand its product line beyond accounting software.

As part of the move, the company said it will release in the spring PC-based point-of-sale electronic cash register software for small retailers that will feature real-time inventory tracking and customer purchase-history tracking.

Separately, Intuit said Monday that it agreed to purchase business-management software maker OMware for $42 million. Sebastopol, Calif.-based OMware makes accounting, project management and job-estimate software for construction companies.

The acquisition illustrates Intuit's push to provide software and services for small businesses, including credit card processing and inventory management tools.

Intuit said it would operate OMware as a separate business and continue to offer its current products and services under the Master Builder brand.