Microsoft has released to manufacturing the Microsoft CRM (customer relationship management) software that's had the industry buzzing since its announcement a year ago.
Originally scheduled to ship by the end of 2002, the software's street date slipped as Microsoft continued working on the front-to-back integration it has promised. Microsoft CRM is intended as a low-cost, entry-level product for smaller businesses seeking a CRM package that will easily connect to ubiquitous Microsoft products such as Word and Outlook.
The software should ship in North America by early next week from several hundred resellers. More than 200 customer orders were waiting to be filled, a Microsoft spokesperson said.
Currently, Microsoft CRM can only be bought in the US and Canada, but localised versions for Europe, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Latin America are scheduled for release in the second half of 2003.
Pricing for the software ranges from US$395 per user, plus $995 for the server, to $1,295 per user and $1,990 for the server, depending on the package chosen.