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Microsoft sets pricing for hosted CRM

The software maker details its pricing for the "Live" version of its CRM software, as well as more information on the cut partners will get for selling it.

DENVER--Microsoft on Tuesday detailed the pricing for its Dynamics Live CRM product, the hosted version of its customer relationship management (CRM) software.

The professional version of the software will list for $45 per user per month, though during 2008 it will sell for $39 per user per month. The higher-end enterprise version, which includes offline data access, will sell for $59 per user per month.

Microsoft will offer the professional edition of the product at no charge, starting this quarter and through the end of the year as part of an early access program.

In an effort to keep its partners happy and enlist them to sign up hosted customers, Microsoft is paying partners 10 percent of the subscription revenue on a recurring basis, as contrasted with some rivals that pay a commission only on the first year's revenue.

"We are going to pay our partners year after year," CRM general manager Brad Wilson said in an interview. Wilson added that partners can play a key role even when Microsoft is doing the hosting.

"I think most customers would strongly benefit from having a partner to help them," he said. It's nice to have somebody who has done it 50 to 100 times to help you with it."

Because the hosted version is based on the same "Titan" code as the on-premise version, Wilson said, customers will be able to move between the two options, with partners standing to get traditional software margins for customers that shifted to hosting it themselves.

"That's something a competitor can't do," Wilson said.