Microsoft CRM: A Sneak Peek

Online exclusive: Baseline provides an unauthorized first look at Redmond's forthcoming customer relationship management suite.

Outside of the few hundred developers at Microsoft who have seen prototypes of Microsofts forthcoming MSCRM customer relationship management suite, relatively few have seen what Microsofts small- to mid-market offering will look like.

But according to copies of some of the MSCRM marketing materials that Microsoft has made available to its reseller partners, the first iteration of MSCRM will be fairly clean and uncluttered in its design.

Microsofts New CRM

As one reseller noted, the MSCRM interface "is very (Windows) XPish."

Three of the screen shots of the marketing materials for MSCRM obtained by Baseline show how Microsoft will emphasize the suites ease of use—along with its tight integration with Windows and Internet Explorer.

Microsofts New CRM

The tool bar along the bottom of the interface shows off the "Sales Automation," "Customer Service" and "Reports" that MSCRM will offer users. It also shows how Microsoft is embedding its own Outlook e-mail and calendaring services into the CRM suite, too.

Microsofts New CRM

Version 1 of MSCRM is slated to enter beta this summer and ship in the fourth calendar quarter of this year. The first release will include sales force automation, customer service and marketing automation modules. It will be available both as a stand-alone product and integrated with Microsoft Great Plains Dynamics, Solomon and eEnterprise products.