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Microsoft Makes It Official: CRM Online Now Generally Available in Two Packages

by Jason Gumpert

Microsoft has announced the general availability of its long-touted CRM Online, the software-as-a-service (SaaS) customer relationship management tool.

The introduction is a bit earlier than some might have expected, given previous company statements that it would be introduced during this year's second quarter; in the past, the product has come out at the end of the quarter rather than the beginning.

As part of the introduction, Microsoft is offering prospective users a 30-day free trial, and a $5 per user monthly discount on its basic package, equal to 11%. It's not clear how long the monthly discount lasts.  

In a slick webinar, which includes remarks from CEO Steve Ballmer, Microsoft positions CRM Online as appropriate for nearly any size company, in any industry, and for "strategic" buyers, along with those purchasing "as a tactic."  As for what makes CRM Online different from CRM offerings of other companies, Brad Wilson, general manager of CRM Online mentions three--"famiiarity...through Office and Outlook"; "configurability," enabling it to be use "out of the box" or "configured to your business"; and "affordability." 

On the last point, Microsoft said CRM Online would be initially offered in two packages:

"Professional," its basic package, which includes "a full suite of CRM capabilities with extensive configurability and extensibility options," along with 5 GB of data storage, 100 configurable workflows and 100 custom entities, at $44 per user per month, with an introductory rate of $39.

"Professional Plus," which includes "all the capabilities of the Professional version plus offline data synchronization," along with 20 GB of data storage, 200 configurable workflows and 200 custom entities, priced at $59 per user per month, and no introductory pricing. 

In its webinar, Microsoft emphasizes the "familiarity" issue, showing in a ...

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About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at

Prior to co-founding, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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