Microsoft is linking the release of major new versions of its business management applications to the debut of the next generation of its Windows operating system [Longhorn, scheduled to ship in 2005].
By spending nearly $2.5 billion on buying United States-based Great Plains and Denmark-based Navision, Microsoft set itself up to compete in the market for wide-ranging software packages designed to automate corporate bookkeeping, human resources and other business tasks…While the two major acquisitions propelled Microsoft into that market, they left the company with a patchwork of software products that operate on different technologies and that cannot easily be made to work together. Project Green is designed to meld that patchwork into a single set of interconnected applications, with Microsoft rebuilding the software on its own technology.
In the meantime, Microsoft is readying a slew of new software that’s aimed at product manufacturers. One, called Demand Planner, is designed to help companies coordinate their production activity, using sales forecasts and other market data. The software will be available by the end of this year, according to Mike Frichol, a Microsoft Business Solutions general manager.
Also set to debut is Microsoft Business Network, a software hosting service that’s designed to help companies shuttle inventory, shipping and order information to trading partners via Internet-based technology.