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Microsoft paints underachieving MBS range as Dynamics

Hopes the 's' is for sales

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Microsoft is putting a little pizzazz into its business solutions (MBS) range - a line that's missed key product delivery dates and revenue expectations.

The diverse enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) line has been unified under the "Dynamics" brand. Microsoft CRM becomes Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Great Plains becomes Dynamics GP, Axapta becomes Dynamics AX, Navision becomes Dynamics NAV, and Solomon becomes Dynamics SL.

Bill Gates, Microsoft's chief software architect, promised a "huge commitment" to business applications, calling this market "critical to our vision."

Gates was speaking as his company unveiled new accounting software and an integrated server roadmap for small and medium businesses (SMBs) as part of the Microsoft Business Summit in Redmond, Washington, on Wednesday.

The Dynamics brand has been adopted to suggest "energy and motion that helps move a business forward" and the "flexibility and adaptability" of the product, according to Microsoft corporate vice president Tami Reller.

Re-branding comes after MBS's Project Green suffered shifting roadmap deliverable goals, while MBS itself experienced poor sales execution that finally saw the group last year placed under Microsoft's energetic chief executive Steve Ballmer.

Also announced at the summit was Centro, which has been billed by Microsoft as bringing together the planned Longhorn Server operating system and Exchange Server along with security and management capabilities. Microsoft said Centro would provide greater integration, security and automation of specific tasks.

Microsoft, meanwhile, launched Office Small Business Accounting 2006 and Office Small Business Management Edition 2006 to manage sales, marketing and finances inside the Office suite. Small Business Accounting 2006 includes the ability to store frequently entered transactions as templates and manage payroll through Excel. Office Small Business Management Edition 2006 features Office 2003, Business Contact Manager Update, Word and Excel.®

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