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Microsoft announced today that it will release the new version of its cloud-based Dynamics AX enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for business management in the first quarter of 2016. A public preview will become available next month.

The service, which is delivered from the Azure public cloud, has been redesigned as an HTML 5 app that can work in modern browsers, including Microsoft Edge. It will also be available as a Universal Windows App, and Microsoft will release iOS and Android versions as well, according to a blog post on the news from Microsoft Dynamics ERP technical fellow Mike Ehrenberg.

The business planning software will incorporate contemporary Microsoft tools, including Azure Machine Learning for predictive analytics, Power BI for cloud-based business intelligence, and the Cortana personal digital assistant for making voice queries, Ehrenberg wrote.

This modernization of Dynamics could potentially help Microsoft as it competes with the likes of NetSuite and Workday.

Historically, Microsoft has released Dynamics AX with a year in the name. But now the company is bringing the software in line with Windows 10 by providing frequent releases, and the year is being dropped from the name to reflect that shift.

The new Dynamics AX will look more like Microsoft Office applications, such as Word and Excel. But to make sure end users understand how to use it, Microsoft is providing new Task Guides in the software.

Customers will be able to pay for Dynamics AX in a subscription. Microsoft will provide more details on that payment model in the weeks to come.

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