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Spammers capitalize on swine flu; SugarCRM, Microsoft make CRM moves

Headlines: Swine flu spam epidemic hits; SugarCRM, Microsoft make CRM moves headlines for May 1, 2009

Spammers latch onto swine flu outbreak

The swine flu (er, make that H1-N1 flu) outbreak has sparked a spam surge, reports

Security vendors are tracking a swine-flu-related spam wave that is taking advantage of the outbreak to trick victims into giving up information or downloading a malicious file.

One spam message contains a malicious PDF file that claims to provide flu-related information. If the recipient opens the file, the PC is immediately infected with a Trojan that tries to steal sensitive data, said Kevin Haley, director of security response at Symantec Corp. The Trojan, Bloodhound.Exploit.6, was discovered in 2004 and can be detected by most antivirus vendors.

SugarCRM, Microsoft apply price pressure to on-demand CRM

SugarCRM this week released a new low-cost, on-demand CRM option for less than $10 per user per month and slashed prices on its other two on-demand offerings, just a day after Microsoft offered new financing options for its CRM and ERP product lines.

On-demand -- or Software as a Service (SaaS) -- CRM is seeing increased pressure on pricing in the wake of the worldwide recession. Microsoft added to the pressure when it first released its Dynamics Live CRM applications at promotional prices of $39 per user per month for its Professional Edition and $59 per user per month for its Enterprise Edition, according to

SugarCRM's new SugarExpress, a step up from its free open source application, includes core sales service and marketing features, plug-ins for Microsoft Office and access to SugarCRM support. An annual subscription costs $499 for up to five users, or $799 for up to 10 users. SugarCRM reduced the price on its Professional Edition from $40 per user per month to $30 and cut its Enterprise Edition to $50 per user per month.

Microsoft introduced a new interest-free financing plan that allows new customers of Dynamics CRM and ERP to pay for their CRM licenses in equal payments over three years.

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