Windows Upgrade Will Require MS CRM Patch

Just a year and a half after its release, Microsoft CRM 1.0 will become unusable in any organization that wishes to upgrade its Windows machines to the latest version of Windows--Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), due for release in the near future. The company has released technical documents describing the problems and outlines solutions for users of MS CRM 1.2, which requires both a software patch for MS CRM and some additional tweaks on users' PC to give the application proper security and access clearances to display data. Both MS CRM servers and clients are affected and in need of patching. Users are instructed to upgrade to MS CRM 1.2 before performing an upgrade to Windows XP SP 2. Because Microsoft is just one of many companies integrating CRM processes and data with Outlook and Web clients, CRM contacted several other vendors to assess their readiness for XP Service Pack 2. Onyx says it will release a "hot fix" for its software as soon as Microsoft unveils Service Pack 2, and urges its clients to perform the hot fix before installing the Windows upgrade. Representatives from Pivotal, Maximizer, Siebel CRM OnDemand, and FrontRange Solutions, publishers of GoldMine, say the newest versions of their respective products are unaffected by Service Pack 2. The problem highlights the added challenge for enterprise software vendors in an age when the most popular operating system for business applications can change literally every day because of security advisories and upgrades, forcing these vendors to constantly revalidate and adjust their own products. "If a serious virus outbreak hits and Microsoft releases a patch [that affects Windows and Windows applications], you can't wait three months," says Bruce Kenny, senior vice president of products at Pivotal. Ultimately, this issue appears to have little impact beyond inconvenience for MS CRM users and some embarrassment in Redmond. "It doesn't look like it's going to cost any out-of-pocket money, since XP Service Pack 2 is free" and Microsoft makes the 1.2 CRM upgrade available (for free) to users on paid support contracts, says Joe Outlaw, president of Outlaw Research. He emphasizes that this situation is a broader lesson for business IT decisions. "It's a security issue, not a 'broken' issue, so companies have to make their own judgment on when to move [based on] how much testing they have to do versus how concerned they are about a [security] attack tomorrow." Related articles: Pivotal Targets MS Office Integration
SMBs Fear an Overreliance on Microsoft New Product Spotlight: December 10, 2003 -- Initial look at MS CRM 1.2
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