This is not a joke. Microsoft is actually offering it's basic small business accounting package (Office Accounting Express) for free. Obviously, they are looking to eventually up-sell users to their more comprehensive accounting package, but this offering is a great option for small businesses that just need to graduate from keeping all their receipts in a shoebox to using basic accounting software.
On the surface, Office Accounting Express looks like it has much more functionality than the $99 QuickBooks Simple Start. Hopefully I'll get a chance to check it out in more detail in the coming weeks.