Microsoft starts rolling out broadly its latest Dynamics CRM update

Microsoft is making generally available access to its Dynamics CRM online and on-premises products via a variety of browsers on PCs and Macs.

Starting this week, Microsoft is beginning to roll out broadly the December 2012 Service Update for its Dynamics CRM online service and on-premises product.

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The December update (codenamed "Polaris") began rolling out to early-access program participants in mid-December 2012. This week marks the beginning of the rollout for new and existing customers. Users can choose whether or not to apply the update, using the opt-in model.

The December update is optimized for Dynamics CRM Online users, but many of the same features are available to on-premises customers via Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 12, officials said.

Update (Jan. 29): As a few readers have mentioned, Microsoft pulled Update Rollup 12 and has not issued a replacement for it. Not sure when to expect it to be available again, at this point.

Update No. 2 (January 31): Micorsoft has republished and revamped its Update Rollup 12.

The December update adds support for new Office 2013, Bing and Skype technologies. It also provides multi-browser support. With this update, users have a choice of accessing Dynamics CRM using Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and/or Safari running on PCs and Macs. The update also features tweaks to the user interface of its Dynamics CRM Online and Dynamics CRM on-premises products to make them more process-centric.

According to a January 21 blog post on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM site, users will be able to "realize Yammer social scenarios and the iPad sales experience" starting in February 2013. (Late last year, the CRM team was planning to add Safari on iOS support in January 2013 .) In October, the CRM team took the first steps toward integrating with Yammer , the enterprise-social-networking vendor Microsoft purchased last year.

Early last year , Microsoft officials said they'd have CRM apps for iPad, iPhone, Android and Windows Phone available in Q2 2012. The coming Dynamics CRM mobile clients/service were set to start at $30 per user/per month, with support for use on up to three devices per user.

But last fall, the team went back to the drawing board decided to build the multi-platform native clients using HTML5 and JavaScript . The new goal is to deliver native clients for Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and the iPad by mid-2013. The company is evaluating when and whether to build native clients for Android and BlackBerry at a later date -- or whether to deliver support for them only via a Web browser. And instead of charging $30 per user/per month, Microsoft plans to make these native clients available for free.

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