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Microsoft, Red Hat show off new software

New-version aficionados of all camps are in for a treat today, with Microsoft and Red Hat both showcasing new products on the west coast.

Much of the news from Redmond focused around Microsoft CRM. The company’s next version, code named Titan, will be available as software as a service (SaaS) on-site, with partners hosting customized SaaS implementations and Microsoft itself hosting a broader edition, as Salesforce.com does now. How successful that product will be will in part depend on the growth of SaaS for CRM in general; the numbers look good, but it’s still too soon to see how far they’ll go.

Microsoft says its next version of CRM will increase usability and integration with Office, and CEO Steve Ballmer will be demoing the Dynamics Live SaaS edition at Convergence 2007 today. The company also announced new versions of its Dynamics ERP software, which it plans to release in June.

For open source fans, Red Hat Enterprise Linux release 5 went live today, and the company took advantage of the day to reemphasize its channel strategy. The new version offers features like increased virtualization capabilities, which Red Hat says will help companies use their IT resources more efficiently.

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