Microsoft Clarifies Its CRM Hosting Intentions

Microsoft watchers have been expecting the Redmond software company to roll out a hosted version of its Microsoft CRM 3.0 product. That's not our business model, say Microsoft officials. (Microsoft Watch)

Microsoft quietly released to manufacturing on Monday its Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 code.

Company officials also quietly put to rest speculation that Microsoft itself is planning to sell a hosted version of its customer-relationship-management product.

Just a week ago, Microsoft delivered a new public beta release of its Microsoft CRM 3.0 product. At that time, officials said their plan was to finalize the product before the end of this year and make it widely available in the first quarter of 2006.

Earlier this week, Brad Wilson, Microsofts general manager of CRM, said Microsoft decided the code was solid enough not to wait any longer. As a result, the new availability date of the international English of the product is "early December," rather than the first quarter of next year, Wilson said. (The other 20-plus language variants will follow later, he said.)

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In addition to clarifying Microsofts ship schedule, Wilson also made clear Microsofts plans around releasing a hosted version of its CRM 3.0 product.

"We are not going to offer a hosted solution ourselves," Wilson said. "We dont need to play somebody elses game."

Microsoft will provide a hosting infrastructure and "encourage our partners to make the product available on a hosted basis, where appropriate," Wilson explained.

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