Microsoft drops the ball: DynamicsCRM not supported on Windows 10

Being successful in the cloud world is all about making sure that your software works across devices, platforms and form factors. Sadly, this is a tale of the ball being dropped in one case.

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Update: A Microsoft spokesperson made this statement about the issue: "Dynamics CRM works on IE11 on Windows 10 today. There is an issue with access to Dynamics CRM 2011 through the Outlook client, which is flagged in our Support blog, and we are working to resolve this issue, with a target to provide the fix in the next Update Release (UR)." More details here.

Dynamics CRM is Microsoft's customer relationship management product, a tool that is a perfect example of the co-opetition between Microsoft and Salesforce. While the two companies collaborate on a number of different fronts, when it comes to CRM, Salesforce pushes its solution (the genesis of the entire company), while Microsoft pushes Dynamics.

At the same time, Microsoft has just launched Windows 10 to much fanfare. This new operating system is seen as the epitome of Microsoft's new "cloud first, mobile first" strategy. It is offered as a service with updates happening over the air and with regularity. it is also the first operating system that offers consistency across mobile and fixed computing, in contrast to both Google's and Apple's approaches.

So you'd have thought, with all of that background, that Microsoft would have, at the very least, ensured that its own products play nicely within the Windows 10 context. Alas not. Posts on some  Microsoft Dynamics community messageboards suggest that Dynamics CRM won't actually install on WIndows 10 devices. users who have, buoyed up by Microsoft's exuberant talk about Windows 10, updated to the new operating system, get left in the lurch. One user, post Windows 10 upgrade, wrrote, “Everything is fine and works great, but for the Outlook client for CRM, which won’t even install. During the ‘Preparing…’ phase, almost immediately a dialog box appears stating that ‘Microsoft Dynamics CRM has stopped working."

And from another forlorn user (or, as it turns out, wannabe user): “I did an upgrade installation over Windows 8.1 and it worked for nearly a week. This morning, the CRM client began crashing Outlook 2013. Re-installation would not complete on Windows 10.”

Coments from individuals suggesting that Dynamics CRM won't be supported on Windows 10 seemed to be confirmed by a Microsoft support engineer who informed users that, "Dynamics CRM 2011 will not be supported with Windows 10 at this time.”

This really is a bad look. The value that platform vendors like Microsoft bring to the world is by being a vendor with a vast range of tightly integrated solutions that just work together. Ironically, I heard about this issue while on my way to Redmond to spend a couple of days with Microsoft. I came out of those meetings generally impressed with the individual technology components, but perhaps a little disappointed at Microsoft's ability (or otherwise) to tell a consistent and coherent story across all of those assets (more on that topic in a later post). This issue is a perfect example of that although, even worse, not only is there a failure in the message, the actual product is at fault.

Conspiracy theorists who believe the rumor that Microsoft is putting the ruler over a Salesforce acquisition would suggest that this is a sign that Microsoft is over its own CRM product and will slowly sunset it to make way for a possible ascension of Salesforce CRM within the Microsoft fold. I'm not sure that the high-level strategy within Microsoft really feeds into product direction so immediately. To me, this simply feels like Microsoft rushing to get WIndows 10 out the door and dropping the ball on this one.

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