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1/31/2008
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Microsoft Rolls Out Dynamics CRM 4.0 Worldwide

The business software was built as a Web-based application, though it can also be used in a traditional client-server architecture.

Microsoft on Thursday announced the global release of the latest version of its CRM software for business.

The software features enhanced tools that allow sales and marketing professionals to segment customers, plan and execute campaigns, track accounts, analyze trends, and share information with colleagues.

Dynamics CRM 4.0 is now available eight languages, including English, French, German, Spanish, and simplified Chinese, according to Microsoft. The company plans to make the software available in 17 additional languages, including Polish, Arabic, and traditional Chinese, in the coming weeks.

Early adopters of Dynamics CRM 4.0 include international construction and engineering company CH2M Hill. The company plans to standardize its business development tools on the platform and make it available to as many as 2,500 users.

CH2M Hill CRM director Mark Lasswell said in a statement that the company is looking to create "a single global view for managing accounts and opportunities across the enterprise."

Dynamics CRM 4.0 is built from the ground up as a Web-based application, though it also can be used in a traditional client-server architecture. The hybrid approach reflects Microsoft's software-plus-services strategy, under which the company is developing applications that can be accessed via the Web or on local servers.

The strategy is meant to bring Microsoft into the hot market for Web-based services while still allowing it to reap significant profits from its packaged applications business.

In its move to the Web, Microsoft faces stiff competition from Google, Salesforce.com, RightNow Technologies, and other early entrants into hosted business software market. RightNow on Wednesday announced that total revenue in 2007 increased 1.5% to $112 million on a loss of $18.6 million.

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