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Salesforce.com wants developers to create more online business applications using its AppExchange platform.

The company makes its revenue from offering Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software as a web-delivered service rather than an application. It hopes developers will use the platform to create other business applications which are delivered as a service in the same way.

The move will put it into competition with Microsoft, which is promoting its Windows Live service to achieve the same thing.

Early next year the company will make developer tools and code available.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff will detail the announcement later today at the firm's user conference.

More from CNet here.

CRM rival NetSuite is offering defecting Salesforce customers a discount for switching to its product. ®

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