According to a Microsoft Dynamics blog post today, the release candidate of Microsoft CRM 2011 is now available and a launch date has been set for Jan. 20.
The blog, by Microsoft premier field engineer manager Eric Newell, links to six packages of the customer relationship management (CRM) software that can be downloaded, including business intelligence and SharePoint modules.
In addition to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Server Release Candidate, other components include an Outlook client, an email router and a language pack.
The blog noted that the CRM software is still a pre-release version, not the final Release to Manufacturing (RTM) build.
Newell said a CRM 2011 launch event is planned for January 20, where information about the final release will be shared. More information on the launch event is available at http://crm.dynamics.com/2011launch/.
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) hopes Dynamics CRM 2011 will give the company an edge on rival Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM). SAP (NYSE: SAP) and Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) lead the CRM market, but Microsoft and Salesforce have been the fastest-growing of the top five vendors in recent years in the nearly $10 billion market, according to Gartner.
Microsoft hopes it will gain more users than Salesforce next year for the first time, according to a Bloomberg article yesterday.
Just today, Microsoft announced that it had lured away Salesforce CRM customer Syncsort.