Salesforce CRM apps coming to Windows and Windows Phone

Salesforce and Microsoft have agreed to tighten ties between Salesforce's CRM apps and platform and Microsoft's Windows and Office.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Salesforce.com is building new Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 CRM apps, and integrating its CRM technology more tightly with Office and Office 365.

Image: Microsoft

Microsoft and Salesforce officials announced terms of their new partnership on Thursday, hours after a Bloomberg report noted that the two were collaborating on a partnership involving Microsoft's Azure cloud and deeper Office integration.

Based on the Microsoft press release, it doesn't look like Azure ended up being part of the package — other than possibly indirectly.

Update: Salesforce CEO Benioff said that Salesforce will use Azure for "ExactTarget development and testing." But Salesforce isn't putting any of its current core CRM software or services on Azure. 

However, the pair did announce the following deliverables:

  • Salesforce1 for Windows and Windows Phone 8.1. A preview of both apps is planned to be available in fall 2014 with general availability in 2015.
  • Salesforce for Office 365 interoperability. Users will be able to "access, share, edit and collaborate on Office content from within Salesforce and on Salesforce1 using Office Mobile, Office for iPad and Office 365." They also will be able to access OneDrive for Business/SharePoint Online for storage options.
  • A new Salesforce app for Outlook (Update: Salesforce for Outlook already exists, so seemingly this is just a new version)
  • Integration enabling Salesforce data to be connected to Excel and Microsoft's Power BI for Office 365

During a conference call involving Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Salesforce CEO Benioff, the two stressed that Office 365 will be one of the main points of integration between the two. Benioff said that Salesforce's ExactTarget Marketing Cloud offering is "embedded in Office 365." In return, Salesforce will be using more SQL Server and will continue to make SQL Server the database for ExactTarget. 

On the call, the two CEOs repeatedly thanked one another for the ease with which they formed their new partnership.

"Our relationship with Microsoft has changed and evolved over the decades," Benioff said. "When Satya (Nadella) became the CEO, we had the opportunity to have an even stronger relationship with Microsoft." 

"We've always wanted to have a closer relationship with Microsoft, and now we do," Benioff added.

(Hmm. Benioff sure had a funny way of showing his desire to be a closer partner...)

The announcement between Microsoft and Salesforce today is "about putting our joint customers first," Benioff said, by combining the world's number one CRM platform from Salesforce with Microsoft's number one productivity software/services. 

The companies noted that "terms of the deal were not disclosed," so there's no public word on whether any money is exchanging hands  as part of the new partnership.

Editorial standards