Microsoft offering cash to Salesforce switchers

Microsoft is getting more aggressive about targeting users of Salesforce and Oracle's CRM products with a new program that pays switchers.

Josh Lowensohn
Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
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As part of a new incentive program, Microsoft is offering companies that are currently customers of Salesforce or Oracle's CRM services a cash bonus for switching to Microsoft's own Dynamics CRM Online.

Companies that make the switch will be given $200 for every user that's a part of the transition. That amount can also be put towards the subscription itself, or service add-ons, Microsoft said in a statement.

There is some fine print though. For instance, companies need to be of a certain size: anywhere between 15 to 250 users. If it's outside those two numbers, there are no incentive credits to be had. Along with that, companies can't just cut and run after getting the rebate, as there's a two-year licensing agreement involved. The program itself also runs through the end of June, so companies in the middle of a contract with another provider may miss that window.

Microsoft began testing the 2011 edition of its Dynamics program back in September as part of a public beta. It's available both as a software tool and as a hosted service, the latter of which will be available in more than 40 countries when the service is launched internationally next month. To work that back into the new rebate program, Microsoft will be offering the $200 in whatever the local currency works out to be.

The dig at Salesforce is of special note given the the two companies' recent legal fracas. Back in May, Microsoft sued Salesforce over the infringement of nine of its patents, seeking monetary damages and injunctions. The next month Salesforce sued Microsoft back. The cases were settled back in August for an undisclosed sum, with the two companies ending up cross-licensing each other's patents. Clearly though, some bad blood remains.