Microsoft CRM 2011 near-final test build available for download

Summary:Microsoft made the Release Candidate (RC) test build of its Dynamics CRM 2011 offering available for download as of December 14. The global launch of the product is slated for January 20 next year.

Microsoft made the Release Candidate (RC) test build of its Dynamics CRM 2011 offering available for download as of December 14.

This is a publicly available RC and "will be available until the RTM (release to manufacturing) release scheduled for Q1, 2011," according to a blog post on Microsoft's Dynamics CRM blog.

The RC is the last test build Microsoft will make available externally before the CRM Online version is released to the Web in January, and the on-premises version is RTM'd in the first quarter of next year, officials said.

The fine print, from the blog post:

"On-premises Beta databases can be upgraded to this new RC release which can then be upgraded to the upcoming RTM release.  CRM Online Beta customers will continue to have access to their CRM Online Beta instance until the CRM Online RTW launch in January, at which time they can choose to opt-in to upgrade their Beta instance to a production subscription."

CRM 2011 will add a native Microsoft Outlook Client, an Office-like Ribbon and more user personalization options. It also will provide guided process dialogs, inline data visualizations, performance and goal management capabilities and real-time dashboards, company officials have said.

Microsoft will be offering its CRM Online 2011 service for a promotional introductory price of $34 per user per month, which will kick in starting in January 2011.

Microsoft officials said recently there will be a global launch event for CRM 2011, which will be Webcast, on January 20, 2011.

Topics: Microsoft, Enterprise Software, Software

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Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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