Salesforce.com has provided more details about their recent partnership with Microsoft that was first announced in May, including word that the promised Salesforce1 app for Windows Phone and Windows 8.1 is now being tested via an invite-only preview.
While the app won't be available to the general public until sometime in the second half of 2015, Salesforce1 can now be accessed via Internet Explorer on Windows 8.1. The company also offered an update on progress to integrate their customer relationship management (CRM) products with other Microsoft software and services. It stated:
"Salesforce1 integration with Microsoft Office, SharePoint and OneDrive for Business on iOS devices and Android phones will enable customers to seamlessly open, edit and save documents. General availability is anticipated for the first half of 2015. A new Salesforce1 App for Outlook will work with Microsoft Outlook 2013, Exchange Server 2013 and Office 365 to let customers access and manage their Salesforce information right from Outlook. General availability is anticipated for the first half of 2015.
"Salesforce integration with Power Query for Excel is in preview now, with general availability anticipated for the first half of 2015. Power BI integration with Salesforce is anticipated for the first half of 2015. A Salesforce app for Excel is anticipated for the second half of 2015. "
The partnership between Salesforce.com and Microsoft is in stark contrast to just a few years ago, when Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff was highly critical of Microsoft, Windows 8, and the company's overall direction. On Monday, Benioff shared the stage at the company's Dreamforce conference with Microsoft's Windows marketing head Tony Prophet. Business Insider quoted Benioff as saying, "A year ago at Dreamforce we would not have thought Microsoft would have been here, on stage. It's a shock."