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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Microsoft Corp finally launched its delayed customer relationship management (CRM) software yesterday, the company's first foray into this area of e-business software.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft CRM for North America was delayed from its planned end-of-2002 launch at the last minute, as the company said it wanted to "go to market with something that was right."

The company was yesterday unable to provide any more details on the likely release date for the international version of its CRM software, release 1.1, slated by Microsoft for launch in the second half of 2003. That international version will be available in English, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

Microsoft was also uable to say when a version for Asia Pacific markets would be ready.

Microsoft CRM is the company's first step into a market likely to take the company into competition with partners like San Mateo, California-based Siebel Systems Inc.

The software can be accessed as a browser-based application or through Outlook.

The North American edition of Microsoft's CRM is available in two editions - Standard and Professional. Microsoft said estimated retail price for Standard Edition ranges from $395 per user plus $995 for service or sales servers and $1,295 per user plus $1,990 for the service and sales servers for the Professional Edition.

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