In addition to sharing timing and screen shots of its coming Windows 8 CRM application, Microsoft officials went public on November 1 with guidance about what's coming in the Q4 2012 service update for its Dynamics CRM products.
The Q4 update will be out in December of this year, according to a post on the Dynamics Community site. With this update, Microsoft will be tweaking the user interface of its Dynamics CRM Online and Dynamics CRM on-premises products to be more process-centric. It also will be providing "deeper connections" to Yammer -- the enterprise social networking vendor Microsoft bought earlier this year -- as well as to Skype (another of Microsoft's acquisitions).
Here's a Microsoft-supplied screen shot of what the Skype integration will look like in the Q4 update:
There will be cross-browser support in the Q4 2012 Microsoft Dynamics CRM update. But those promised cross-platform mobile Dynamics CRM clients are further delayed.
In February, Microsoft announced plans to make mobile versions of its CRM client available for iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone devices as part of its Q2 2012 service updates. Microsoft was expecting to provide all these clients from their respective marketplaces some time between April and May 2012. In July, Microsoft revised its timetable, with officials saying the new plan was to make these clients available as part of the Q4 2012 service updates for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
The December (Q4 2012) update will provide the cross-browser support, but not the cross-platform support, according to Microsoft execs. Cross-browser, in this case, means users will have a choice of Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and Safari running on PCs, Macs and iPads.
So what about those cross-platform Dynamics CRM mobile apps? I asked for an updated delivery target. A spokesperson e-mailed me the following statement:
“Building on the updated user experience investments that we will provide in the December 2012 service update, we will be delivering native role and device-specific applications across a range of platforms and form-factors including PC’s, Windows 8 tablets, Apple iOS devices such as iPad and iPhone and Google Android tablets and phones. For the first release after the December 2012 service update we will deliver HTML5-based mobile apps for Windows 8 and Apple iPad, these apps will be targeted at sales professionals; other processes and supported devices will be added over time. We will also invest in platform and tools to accelerate development of custom mobile apps.”
In February, 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 and supports the use of up to three devices per user.