Microsoft makes CRM Online 2011 available worldwide

Microsoft is making the latest version of its hosted CRM offering available worldwide on January 17, three days ahead of the official "global launch" of its CRM 2011 product family.

Microsoft is making the latest version of its hosted CRM offering available worldwide on January 17, three days ahead of the official "global launch" of its CRM 2011 product family.

Prior releases of Dynamics CRM were available only in North America. Dynamics CRM Online 2011 is available in the U.S., Canada and 40 other countries as of January 17. The on-premises and partner-hosted versions will be released to manufacturing on February 28, company officials said today. Volume licensees, TechNet and MSDN subscribers will be able to download it on that day.

Microsoft officials said 11,500 testers kicked the tires of the latest release of Dynamics CRM 2011.

CRM 2011, codenamed CRM 5,  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, as company officials said last year.

Microsoft CRM rival Salesforce.com is in the midst of launching its Spring 2011 update of its Cloud 2 platform, the first of three platform updates planned for calendar 2011. The newest version of Salesforce's platform includes a number of Facebook- and Twitter-like features, including the use of @ mentions and hashtags, the ability to send Chatter invitations, and a "Like" button capability in users' feeds.

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