On Wednesday, Microsoft Corp. reinforced its commitment to cross-platform developer experiences by open sourcing the full server-side .NET stack and expanding .NET to run on the Linux and Mac OS platforms. Microsoft also released Visual Studio Community 2013, a new free edition of Visual Studio that provides easy access to the Visual Studio core toolset. The announcements kicked off Microsoft’s Connect (); event, where the company released Visual Studio 2015 Preview and .NET 2015 Preview.
Delivering on its promise to support cross-platform development, Microsoft is providing the full .NET server stack in open source, including ASP.NET, the .NET compiler, the .NET Core Runtime, Framework and Libraries, enabling developers to build with .NET across Windows, Mac or Linux. Through this implementation, Microsoft will work closely with the open source community, taking contributions for future improvements to .NET and will work through the .NET Foundation.
Available Wednesday, Visual Studio Community 2013 is a free, fully featured edition of Visual Studio including full extensibility. Targeting any platform, from devices and desktop, to Web and cloud services, the community edition provides developers with easy access to Microsoft’s Visual Studio toolset for all nonenterprise application development. Developers can get started with Visual Studio Community 2013 here.
Built from the ground up with support for iOS, Android and Windows, Visual Studio 2015 Preview makes it easier for developers to build applications and services for any device, on any platform.
Microsoft on Wednesday announced the preview of ASP.NET 5.0, a streamlined framework and runtime optimized for cloud and server workloads. In addition, the new Connected Services Manager in Visual Studio 2015 makes it easier to connect applications to line-of-business API services such as the Office 365 API and SalesForce, among others.
Building on a year of service enhancements, Microsoft announced additional capabilities for Visual Studio Online, its online service for development projects, by announcing additional capabilities for the service, including these:
Release Management as a service, available in preview, to enable customers to automate and manage application releases without the need to set up or maintain any service infrastructure.
Cloud Deployment Projects, to allow organizations to more easily and reliably provision and configure development, test and production environments in Azure.
Also on Wednesday, Microsoft announced the availability of Visual Studio 2013 Update 4…
Yesterday Microsoft unveiled what can only be called a Twitter tracker as part of a collection of "solution accelerators" for their midrange Dynamics CRM offering that will be downloadable in the next few weeks. Two of the new applications covered conventional customer relationship tasks – website integration and channel partner lead management, but the third, the Social Networking Accelerator is rather different:
The Social Networking Accelerator allows business professionals to monitor and analyze customers’ conversations on social networking sites, and as a result, provides real-time status updates about their products and services. This accelerator delivers integration with Twitter; other networks will be introduced in future releases. The Social Networking Accelerator can be viewed online at http://crm.dynamics.com.
If you follow the link, you’ll find that the demo is not currently working, but a Microsoft presentation summarizes the functionality as:
What it does:
The SeattlePI also has an instructive video.
Microsoft is not the first to try mining the Twitter vein for contact relationship management – their nemesis Salesforce.com and a start-up named CoTweet are digging into it as well and there is also speculation that Twitter would like to do it themselves. Whether there is actually some gold there is another question but the topic of Twitter reputation management is currently getting a lot of buzz.
Today, Microsoft threw open the doors on its long awaited “Salesforce.com killer” hosted CRM offering, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online:
Microsoft Corp. today announced the general availability of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, an on-demand customer relationship management service hosted and managed by Microsoft. The new Internet service delivers a full suite of marketing, sales and service capabilities through a Web browser or directly into Microsoft Office and Outlook.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is initially packaged in two service offerings:
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Professional delivers a full suite of CRM capabilities with extensive configurability and extensibility options. Businesses get 5 GB of data storage, 100 configurable workflows and 100 custom entities. The Professional edition is priced at $44 per user per month, with an introductory offer of $39 per user, per month.
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Professional Plus delivers all the capabilities of the Professional version plus offline data synchronization with expanded data storage, workflow and customization options that give businesses 20 GB of data storage, 200 configurable workflows and 200 custom entities. The Professional Plus edition is priced at $59 per user per month.
More than 500 customers and 200 partners have used Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online over the past six months via the Microsoft Early Access Program.
Until recently this product was “Dynamics Live CRM”, but it’s still basically what was announced last July with some name changes. Head to head comparison of features and reliability remain to be determined, but Microsoft is undercutting Salesforce on price.
Today at its Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft revealed the offering details of its long anticipated hosted CRM solution, Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM:
Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM will be operated and managed by Microsoft within its datacenters and will offer Microsoft’s partners another fast and flexible way to address the unique customer relationship management (CRM) needs of each customer. Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM will use the same code base as the on-premise and partner-hosted versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, a strategy that reinforces Microsoft’s leadership in allowing customers to choose the best deployment option for their business and IT needs at any time.
It also puts the partner-hosted version in the shade as we’ve mentioned previously. Some balm for that wound is that partners can earn 10% of the recurring Live CRM subscription fees when they sell it to customers. The on-premise and partner-hosted versions will be available to those that still want it in the fourth quarter of 2007.
The customer early access program for Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM will begin this quarter and will extend through the remainder of 2007. It will offer the Professional version of the service (see below) at no charge to customers during the early access period; at the end of the early access period, normal service fees will apply.
Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM will be available as a range of service offerings, with features and pricing designed to optimize value for different types of customers. The first two service offerings will be the following:
- Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM Professional will offer full-suite CRM through Microsoft Outlook and browser clients, customizable workflow powered by Windows Workflow Foundation, and rich configuration and extensibility capabilities. The price for Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM Professional will be $44 per user per month; however, during 2008 it will be offered to customers at a promotional price of $39 per user per month.
- Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM Enterprise will offer all the capabilities of the Professional product as well as offline data synchronization. The price for Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM Enterprise will be $59 per user per month.
During the early access program, all customers of Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM will use the Professional version of the service. The Enterprise version will be made available in the first half of 2008.
Although it’s version 1.0 and will take some time to get up to speed, the target of Dynamics Live CRM is obviously Salesforce.com and the play looks to be price.
Update: Salesforce.com to Microsoft: Is that all ya got? Best line:
“We could talk for hours about all the great on-demand services that are out there that I can sign up and use. Where is Microsoft? Microsoft has a price list, not a product.”