It's rare that a month goes by without Microsoft announcing a new something-or-other. Sometimes it's something interesting, sometimes not. There's a product in Microsoft's portfolio that they've not made a great deal of noise about, though. And you know what? It has every chance of being the big news of 2008.
It has probably the most ridiculous name I've ever come across: Dynamics NAV. And apparently they're revamping it with a new version that launches this summer.
Why would they be revamping a product that you've never heard of? Simple: it's never really been sold as a Microsoft product, since it entered the portfolio through an acquisition - the acquisition of Navision five years ago.
I used to work for a company whose financial side was based entirely on Navision. We winked into existence and had a seemingly endless amount of money to spend on building the infrastructure. So the beancounters looked at all the alternatives on the market (and believe me there are plenty, both obvious and not so well-known), and the one they plumped for was Navision. It was competitively priced, it was versatile and relatively simple to customise, and it just worked. Microsoft obviously realised its benefits, because they bought the company out.
Now it seems that they're working up to a new version, which will launch this summer.
My employer decided it was the best after an exhaustive research period. Microsoft decided it was so good, they ought to buy the company. So if you're looking for something to underpin your company's financial side, take a mosey over to http://www.microsoft.com/dynamics/nav/default.mspx; on my past experience you might just find something worth a look.