Microsoft has taken its long awaited plunge into the business applications market with the UK launch of its customer relationship management software.
Microsoft CRM is already available in the US. Having increased the number of languages it supports, the 1.2 version is now on sale in Europe and runs on Windows 2000 and XP.
The software giant has been gearing up its assault on the enterprise application market through acquisitions of enterprise resource planning vendors Navision and Great Plains.
The launch of a CRM product marks Microsoft's entry into developing its own business software.
As with its attack on other markets, such as databases, Microsoft CRM is initially aimed at the lower end of the market.
Microsoft claimed that the software is already installed at one US firm with 2,000 users.
"We're offering an effective way for companies to manage their sales information and improve their performance," said Michala Alexander, CRM product manager at Microsoft Business Solutions.
"We see our sweet spot as firms with around 30 employees, but have examples of much larger businesses using our software."
Microsoft will sell the application through its Software Assurance programme, so customers will commit to a subscription licence and receive free upgrades. A second release is due before the end of 2004, and the third expected a year later.
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