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Dynamics CRM 2015 Hits General Availability

Microsoft on Sunday announced the release of Dynamics CRM 2015, which for the first time includes integration with the company's "Cortana" voice-activated personal assistant technology.

The release affects both the on-premises Dynamics CRM product and the cloud-based Dynamics CRM Online, as well as the Dynamics Marketing and Social Listening components. Dynamics CRM Online customers will receive the new release as a download, while on-premises users will receive the release as "version 7.0," according to the Dynamics CRM 2015 Release Preview Guide (.PDF).

The release will also bring the Social Listening tool up to the 2014 R2 version. The Dynamics Marketing component must be updated manually, according to the guide.

Besides the Cortana integration, Dynamics CRM 2015 will deliver a number of sales- and marketing-oriented improvements "in a way that makes collaboration between roles natural and easy," according to a blog post by Bob Stutz, corporate vice president of Dynamics CRM. Microsoft previewed some of those features in September and at November's Convergence Europe conference. Those features include:

  • a new Interactive Marketing Calendar
  • a new Sales Collaboration Panel
  • improvements to lead management and lead scoring capabilities
  • improvements to the Campaign Management Console
  • improvements to the tablet UI
  • added Dynamics Marketing language support for Japanese and Russian

The Release Preview Guide provides a more detailed look at the new features in Dynamics CRM 2015. Changes to pricing and licensing for Dynamics CRM 2015 are outlined in this blog post from November.

In May, Microsoft announced that future versions of Dynamics CRM, starting with Dynamics CRM 2015, will not support certain older versions of its database and server products. Since then, Microsoft has updated its Dynamics CRM compatibility page to include products that will not be supported on Dynamics CRM 2015. Those unsupported products include:

  • SQL Server 2005, 2008 and 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2008 R2, 2012 Foundation and 2012 Essentials
  • Windows Small Business Server
  • Exchange Server 2003 and 2007
  • Dynamics CRM 2011 for Outlook Client
  • SharePoint 2007 and SharePoint Foundation 2013
  • Office 2007
  • Internet Explorer 7, 8 and 9
  • IIS 7.0 and 7.5
  • Azure Virtual Machines
  • Windows Vista

Microsoft said that it is currently developing future Dynamics CRM updates and releases, with Stutz noting that it is "firmly on a path for continuous and consistent innovation with a six month release cycle." The next wave of Dynamics CRM updates is rumored to be scheduled for the second quarter of 2015.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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