Once upon a time you had to pay for a browser software, just like any other application such as word processing. Netscape Mozilla was a paid product, which you could purchase as a shrink wrapped box of software. I remember paying $39 for it back in 1995.
Of course, rivals lowered their prices until finally Microsoft gave it away for free with Internet Explorer 4.0 released in September 1997, and was shipped with Windows 98.
So, are we seeing a similar trend here?
Microsoft is offering CRM Online Professional Plus version to partners with offline synchronization for $19 per user per month, a huge drop from the standard $59 per user per month list price.
Hers is the news release from TechTarget.
Microsoft to add CRM accelerators, online marketplace
Microsoft today turned to its partner community to bolster the functionality of its CRM products with an online directory of partner tools and applications.
Revealed at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference being held this week in Houston, Microsoft Pinpoint will be fully functional in August, according to Brad Wilson, general manager of Microsoft CRM.
“For our partners, it’s a no-brainer to engage and be listed,” Wilson said. “We think it’s a great way for our partners to get exposure and a connection to our customers and prospects.”
Customers can access Pinpoint online or directly through CRM Online or Dynamics CRM via the new resource center function, which provides tips and best practices for getting the most out of their CRM implementation. Microsoft develops its own add-ons, which will be offered elsewhere.
Microsoft also said today that it will release solution accelerators between its major CRM point releases. The first eight accelerators were announced today and will be released in the third quarter. They include an accelerator for sales methodology integration, which provides pre-built integration with methodologies like Miller-Heiman. Other accelerators due in the third quarter include e-service integration, allowing customers to submit service requests online; alerts and notifications accelerator, which pushes out updates to customer information through RSS; and an event management template for companies that run public events.
“A lot of these use the metadata configuration capabilities in our product,” Wilson said. “They’re released as shared sourced through our customers and partners.”
The accelerators will be free and available via download from Microsoft or its partners.
Microsoft is also hoping to expand its CRM Online customer base through a ready-made group of prospects — its giant partner channel. Yesterday, Microsoft said it would offer the Professional Plus version to partners with offline synchronization for $19 per user per month, a significant discount from the standard $59 per user per month list price.
“We want our broad partner base to embrace CRM online as a way to handle their customer management needs,” Wilson said.
Microsoft says it plans to offer a free Software as a Service (SaaS) readiness tool to help partners and independent software vendors evaluate their readiness to offer on-demand products and services.