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Microsoft is introducing RSS to its fledgling customer relationship management (CRM) suite. The company is working on features that enable users of its Dynamics CRM to receive updated sales information through subscriber-based Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds. RSS is expected in the third edition of Microsoft's CRM software.

Chris Capossela, corporate vice president for the information worker product management group, told Microsoft's Professional Developers' Conference (PDC) today that customers or partners of companies who use Dynamics CRM could subscribe to RSS services which post updates about information like price quotes.

An RSS feed means customers will not need to run a query every day to get quotes, he said: "We believe RSS will be transformed into a platform that embraces business applications. We see RSS as a great way to publish information to partners, customers and employees." C.

Microsoft's decision to RSS-enable its CRM software comes as Spanning Partners last month launched a service that provides a set of RSS feeds to Salesforce.com's rival hosted service. Spanning Salesforce.com 2.0 pushes updated information to Salesforce.com subscribers, who click the RSS buttons on Spanning's website. The RSS feeds are then delivered to aggregators such as FeedDemon or NewsGator.

Salesforce.com does not have any immediate plans to RSS-enable its services, according to Spanning. This could be a misstep for Salesforce.com, given Microsoft is prepping its own hosted CRM software. Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer last week promised the company would give Salesforce.com a run for its money, in a market that is of increasing interest to customers. ®

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