Report: Microsoft Might Invest in Siebel

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Microsoft and customer relationship management provider Siebel Systems plan to announce a marketing and development agreement next week that may include Microsoft making a minority investment in Siebel, according to news reports.


Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is to deliver a keynote speech Monday at Siebel's annual user conference in Los Angeles.


At the conference, the two companies are expected to reveal details of a financial agreement and exclusive development plans. Reports said that as part of the pending agreement, Siebel has pledged exclusive support for components of Microsoft's next-generation Web services technology, called .Net Framework, in the next release of its CRM suite.


Rumors also have been circulating for several weeks that Microsoft may acquire Siebel. Microsoft has been on the acquisition path recently in an effort to establish a foothold in the market for corporate applications, the kind developed by Siebel, SAP, PeopleSoft and others. The company bought Great Plains, which specializes in accounting applications, for $1.1 billion last year. It acquired Navision, a business applications company based in Denmark, for $1.45 billion in July.


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