Microsoft Ships CRM 3.0 on Schedule

Microsoft is shipping the second of its “Project Green” – now renamed Microsoft Dynamics – products on schedule, this one its CRM package.

Dubbed Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0, the new release follows last month’s shipment of Dynamics GP 9.0, an update to its Great Plains accounting package and the first of its rebranded business solutions to appear under the Microsoft Dynamics logo. (See, “Microsoft Ships Dynamics GP Finance Package; Nov. 17, 2005.)

While the English language edition is available now, Dutch, French, German and Russian versions of Microsoft CRM will be available Jan. 1, 2006, and 17 more language versions will be released in the coming months, the company said in a statement.

The release also features a new Small Business Edition, meant to run on Microsoft Windows Small Business Server (SBS). According to a company statement, the small business package includes wizard-driven configuration of the application, and tight integration with SBS features such as fax management and integrated server management. It also provides a migration path from Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 with Business Contact Manager.

In early September, Microsoft unveiled plans to rebrand its Microsoft Business Solutions product lines for mid-sized businesses as Microsoft Dynamics. The name change is also intended to represent a focus on integrating the company’s somewhat disparate line of business products. (See, “'Project Green' Renamed Microsoft Dynamics,” Sept. 7.)

At the time, Microsoft said it would release Microsoft Dynamics GP (formerly Great Plains) and Microsoft Dynamics CRM (formerly Microsoft CRM) this year. The company also announced that it intends releases in 2006 of existing Business Solutions-branded products as Microsoft Dynamics AX (formerly the Axapta business management suite), Microsoft Dynamics NAV (formerly Navision mid-range accounting tools) and Microsoft Dynamics SL (formerly Solomon accounting tools).

The Microsoft Dynamics products will be characterized by a common user interface based on Microsoft Office and Outlook, as well as following a role-based model for user deployment. The products were previously tagged with the Microsoft Business Solutions brand.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.