Microsoft has quietly announced that it is delaying the release of a mobile client for its Dynamics CRM software to the fourth quarter. Previously, the company had provided details about the availability of a mobile service, which had been scheduled for Q2.
In a posting last week on its Microsoft Dynamics blog, Dynamics Marketing Manager Dennis Michalis wrote that the company was delaying the availability of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile, as well as delaying cross-browser support. Both were scheduled for the Q2 2012 Service Update, and both are now re-scheduled for Q4.
He added that a new Q4 Service Update Release Preview Guide, with details about the capabilities and interface of the mobile service, will be made available this summer. Additionally, Microsoft said other releases already planned for Q4 will remain as scheduled.
An explanation for the delay was not given, although Michalis did say that the company had been "listening to the feedback from our customers and partners," and that Microsoft was "focused on delivering a more compelling customer experience in mobile and cross browser."
In February, Microsoft had said that the mobile service would be available in Q2 for the iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and devices running Android or Windows Phone. It released a fairly detailed description of the service in a Release Preview Guide that said the new cloud-based, mobile version would offer "a full range of rich, native CRM applications."
The guide also described that each licensed user would be able to access the mobile service from as many as three devices, that an offline version would be available, and that the starting price would be $30 monthly.
Some Microsoft-watchers have speculated that the delay is strategic, so that a mobile version of Dynamics CRM can be properly prepared for the company's coming release of Windows 8 and its Surface tablet.
In fact, it is curious that the coming cross-browser support mentioned in the February Guide did not include either Windows 8 devices or Surface in the list of platforms and devices it would support.
The only supported tablet mentioned in that publication was Apple's iPad or iPad 2. For computers, the supported platforms listed were Windows 7, Vista, XP and Apple Macintosh OS X. For those platforms, the new cross-browser support will allow the use of "all modern Internet browsers."
For IT departments, Microsoft has described how Dynamics CRM Mobile will be able to be centrally managed. Administrators will have the ability to "configure the record types, forms, views, offline synchronization rules and the navigation structure."
To accommodate different functional groups, administrators will have the ability to establish multiple profiles with role-specific and functionality, and to remotely wipe data if a device is lost or stolen.
Michalis said in his blog post that the company has delivered a wide range of enhancements to Dynamics CRM over the last six months. These include social collaboration, billing, provisioning and improved disaster recovery.