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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Microsoft: IE9 to require Windows 7 SP1

Microsoft Corp. has announced a key milestone for Microsoft Dynamics CRM with the beta release of its next-generation product for cloud-based and on-premises deployments. The beta release marks the worldwide rollout of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online service from Microsoft’s global data centers, and it will be released to customers and hosting partners for on-premises deployment as Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.

The beta for the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online service will now be available in India along with 35 other markets and offered in eight languages globally. The final version of the service will be available in 40 markets and 41 languages, including India, by the end of the year. The beta of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for on-premises and partner-hosted deployments will be available in all 40 markets in eight languages. Customers and partners can download or sign up for the beta today at www.crm2011beta.com to evaluate and start building solutions based on the new release.

“Our new beta release for cloud-based and on-premises deployments will enable the real customer relationship management experience—dynamic, open, uncompromising, extensible and fully integrated into the desktop—as both software and a service,” said Subhomoy Sengupta, Group Director, Microsoft Business Solutions, Microsoft India.

“Indian businesses are evolving and enhancing the customer experience is on the top priority list of all CIOs and CTOs today. This next generation CRM product from Microsoft gives a 360 degree view of the entire customer management portfolio and can be up and running in a day’s time,” said Samir Jhaveri, CEO & Managing Director, Oriensoft Technologies.

Microsoft also announced that the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace will enter beta later this month.


The FAQ suggests that the final versions of both two products will ship simultaneously, or nearly so.

The beta of IE9 that launched Sept. 15 requires four already-available Windows 7 updates -- two published in June, the others in August -- that are primarily graphics-related bug fixes or that add support for IE9 functionality.

But the final will apparently demand more, a curious move since Microsoft has repeatedly characterized Windows 7 SP1 as nothing more than a collection of previously-released security patches and other fixes. Unlike 2004's Windows XP SP2, Windows 7 SP1 will not include new features.

"Organizations must plan, pilot and deploy Internet Explorer 9 as part of or after a Windows 7 SP1 deployment," Microsoft maintained in the FAQ.

The SP1 requirement may be derived from the four updates already available -- they would be packaged in SP1 -- or from future, not-yet-released updates -- or a combination of the two.

This isn't the first time Microsoft has blocked some users from running IE9. The new browser will not run on Windows XP, the still-dominant nine-year-old OS.

Earlier this week, Microsoft urged companies not to wait for IE9 to migrate their PCs to Windows 7, a recommendation the FAQ repeated. "Microsoft recommends that organizations do not disrupt ongoing deployment projects but continue deploying Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 8," the FAQ stated.

Pushing enterprises to upgrade to Windows 7 now, not at some point after IE9's launch, is to Microsoft's benefit, of course, since the sooner it gets customers onto the new operating system, the sooner it reaps revenue from the OS and associated products, such as Windows Server 2008 R2 and SharePoint 2010.

Microsoft made a point to stress that even though companies moving to the Windows 7/IE8 combination may use that browser for only a limited time, the work would not be wasted.

"Your Internet Explorer 8 migration investments will be preserved when you are ready to deploy Internet Explorer 9," argued Rich Reynolds, Microsoft's chief Windows marketing executive, in a post to a company blog Tuesday.

Even so, Microsoft doesn't want to dissuade users from trying out IE9.

"Regardless of your organization's stage of Windows 7 deployment plans, we still encourage you to explore the Internet Explorer 9 Beta," added Reynolds.

The IE9 FAQ also said that Microsoft will release the usual array of deployment tools for IE9, including a blocking utility to prevent Windows Update from automatically downloading and installing the new browser. Microsoft has released such blocking tools for other browsers, including IE8 in 2009 and IE7 in 2006.

Microsoft did not immediately reply to questions on the IE9-Windows 7 SP1 ties, including why SP1 is necessary to run the new browser.

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