Expo Notes: MYOB reaps rewards from 2007 Expo

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Editor’s Note: All this week, Macworld editors will report from the Macworld Expo show floor on meetings with Mac developers, new product announcements, and anything else that catches their eye.

Macworld Expo isn't just a chance for developers to roll out new products or get some face-time with customers. There's also the behind-the-scenes business of making discoveries, striking deals, and setting the stage for what you'll be rolling out at future Expos.

Case in point: MYOB. A year ago, the maker of business-management and accounting software was exhibiting the latest versions of its AccountEdge and FirstEdge products when it was approached by representatives of Sofa. They wanted to show off Checkout, their Mac-based point-of-sale application, to the folks at MYOB. Eleven months later, a joint venture was born, and at this year's Expo, Checkout was on display at the MYOB booth. MYOB is selling and supporting the product in the U.S.

And there will be a new product to sell next month—the $399 Checkout 2.0 is slated for a February release. Besides credit-card processing and multi-user features, the new version will include integration with MYOB's flagship app AccountEdge as well as with AccountEdge's chief rival QuickBooks. "We realize there's a lot of QuickBooks users out there," said MYOB managing partner Tom Nash. "And we don't want to limit the opportunity."

MYOB also is putting its efforts into promoting the latest version of AccountEdge, released in late November. Nash noted that AccountEdge 2008 is the first version of the business-management app to be spearheaded by the dedicated Mac product team formed at MYOB last year. The new version introduced a refreshed command center that added task drawers for easy access to common functions as well as more effective integration with things like iCal and .Mac.

"[The Mac product team was] really able to do a lot in the nine months since they were formed," Nash said.

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