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Microsoft offers CRM on the cheap
Is Redmond taking a bath on its new Software as a Service (SaaS) Dynamics CRM line to make up for lost ground against Salesforce.com? Announced at the dog-and-pony Convergence show, Microsoft's service will cost $19 per user per month, less than a third the price of Salesforce.com's Sales Cloud 2 Professional Edition.
The offer, however, is only good until June 30, 2010; it'll remain to be seen whether Microsoft can then keep its prices in the basement with SugarCRM (rough $30 per user per month) or if they stand to climb steeply. It also remains to be seen whether Microsoft, famously late to parties, can make any kind of serious dent in Salesforce.com's commanding lead in business SaaS.
Newsweek saves half a million switching to cloud
Venerable publication Newsweek has reportedly saved a pile of cash by swapping its online presence from parent Washington Post Company servers to Amazon Web Services. The story goes that WaPo lost some $29 million at the magazine division last year and ordered austerity measures.
Newsweek got a facelift and moved its servers to the cloud; the jury is still out on whether or not that's going to make a significant business difference, even if it did save enough cash to pay a lot of reporters' salaries.
Rackspace looking to make a name for itself in email
Rackspace is dipping its toe in the cloud email water. The company is attempting to suck up to system admins by offering its email hosting services with the free Spiceworks social IT management application. Nevertheless, the likelihood of Rackspace's email ever competing with entrenched services like Gmail remains low.