Friday, July 13, 2007

Surprise! Microsoft Pisses Off Salesforce

Microsoft announced this week that it was going to move their Dynamics product online at a price that's below that of rival Here's a big surprise - is pissed off that Microsoft is going to undercut them on price. Well, duh!

The company that has been chanting "No Software, no software!" for years is now bumping up against the biggest software company in the world whose motto is "Embrace and extend" - translated in the marketplace as "Rip off and dominate." CEO Marc Benioff said in an e-mail to eWeek that Microsoft's pricing won't make up for an "inferior product." While that may be true, Netscape was a MUCH better than Mosiac (that Microsoft licensed and turned into Internet Explorer) - and we know how that turned out. Lotus 1-2-3 was the market leader when Excel was written - and we also know how that turned out.

Microsoft bought Dynamics from Great Plains and then after the success of decided it would be a good idea to go into the on demand business as well. In looking at the huge success of Salesforce's AppExchange - SURPRISE! - Microsoft will also include "partner content" as well. In fact, they are goosing their large developer community to support the new offering.

However, also like Microsoft - it's all vaporware. Launch isn't until 2008.

No, really. 2008. Well, "first half" of 2008. No, really.

Although the details of the offering are still sketchy - the pricing is not. The first offerings will be called "Dynamics LIve CRM" in two flavors: Professional and Enterprise. Rather than limiting the offering to browser based clients only - users will be able to also access it via Outlook.

There is also rumored to be customizable workflow services powered by Windows Workflow Foundation and the ability to use a yet-as-unnamed technology to extend built-in functionality.

The "Professional" service will cost $44 a user per month - with a "get it now!" promotional price of $39 per user per month during 2008. The "Enterprise" service is the same as the "Professional" service with offline data synch thrown in at a price of $59 per user per month.

It just so happens that ALSO has a "Professional" and "Enterprise" version. Huh! Freaky. But they charge a lot more: $65 and $125 a user a month, respectively. They also offer a "Group Edition" at $10 per user per month.

So who has the better mousetrap? I don't know - but I'm betting on After all - do you own a Zune or an iPod?

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