Microsoft says next version of NAV not quite baked

Microsoft has delayed the release of the next version of Dynamics NAV, one of its accounting and management business applications for mid-size companies.

Microsoft has delayed the release of the next version of Dynamics NAV, one of its ERP applications for mid-size companies, company executives said this week.

It's the second delay this year for the ERP (enterprise resource planning) software, which Microsoft acquired after buying Danish application developer Navision A/S in 2002. A 5.1 released was planned for the end of this year, but Microsoft has instead opted to release a version 6.0 mid-year next year.

"We decided we need a little more of what we call 'bake' time," said Kirill Tatarinov, a vice president in Microsoft's division that deals with business applications, using a software developer term for when a product isn't done.

Tatarinov said the company is working on "architectural" investments on NAV but did not detail those features. NAV 5.0 includes capabilities to manage the work flow of sales documents, the ability to link customer profiles with purchase orders and inventory tracking, among others.

Tatarinov quickly added that Microsoft will announce a plan mid-week to stick to more predictable release cycles. Microsoft has been stung with criticism for slow release cycles, particularly the five years it took to develop Windows Vista.

Another senior Microsoft executive said that the company won't sacrifice quality for speed.

"I'm very supportive of the decision," said Jeff Raikes, who is president of Microsoft's Business Division. "We recognize that the investments we are making in Dynamics NAV are a very important step forward for the product."

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