"The following are expected to be rolled out in the coming quarters:
- Microsoft CRM Pocket PC
- Great Plains 8.0
- Microsoft Business Portal 2.5
- Microsoft Business Solutions-Navision 4.0
- Solomon 6.0
- Microsoft Business Solutions-Axapta
- Analytics-FRx 6.7
Wow, that’s quite a roadmap. I never even heard of some of these products. I left Microsoft almost 5 years ago, and this is a whole area the company was not competing in at all at the time. It’s going to take another 5 years, but this eventually will be a significant money maker, once the product range has been consolidated, expanded, and improved to take full advantage of the desktop and server components (typically, Excel and Outlook on the frontend, and the whole Biztalk/Sharepoint/Whatever Server on the back-end). Back in 1999 Microsoft was already coming to grips with the fact that to survive, the Office cash cow needed to serve "enterprise" needs, not just adhoc personal and departmental needs. And I bet end users are going to be better off with a Microsoft client than with something provided by, say, SAP.
08/27/05 update: they’re really struggling in this space, meanwhile I’ve come to think sticking to enterprise requirements has become a hurdle to making real progress with products such as Office.