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Microsoft Corp. didn’t waste any time in trying to win over ERP customers who might be unhappy with Oracle Corp.’s recent purchase of PeopleSoft Inc.

On the heels of the announcement of the Oracle-PeopleSoft merger, Microsoft attempted to swoop in. On Dec. 15, the head of Microsoft’s sales and marketing for North America, Corporate Vice President Bill Veghte, sent an open e-mail letter to PeopleSoft customers, inviting them to consider Microsoft’s ERP (enterprise resource planning) products as alternatives.

The letter, a copy of which was viewed by Microsoft Watch, emphasized Microsoft’s claim that the Windows/SQL Server platform offers users better total cost of ownership than does the Unix/Oracle one.

“The Microsoft platform has emerged as the platform of choice for ERP applications deployed in enterprise environments and the reasons for this are crystal clear: customers that deploy business applications on Microsoft Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server enjoy lower costs, lower complexity, better manageability, greater productivity, and richer options to extend application functionality and extract value,” Veghte wrote in his open letter.

Veghte emphasized that PeopleSoft customers don’t have to stick with their current Oracle/PeopleSoft setup. Instead, they might opt to their current PeopleSoft applications by continuing with the Windows Server/SQL Server/.Net platform. They could choose to “replatform” their Unix-, AS/400- and mainframe-based PeopleSoft solutions on Windows Server. Or they could decide to migrate completely off PeopleSoft to one of the Microsoft Business Solutions packages (Axapta, Navision or Great Plains), or even to another Microsoft partner’s ERP solutions, such as one from SAP.

Microsoft has been working actively throughout 2004 to block the Oracle PeopleSoft merger and testified during the government examination of the pending merger that the acquisition would not be in consumers’ best interests.

Read the full story on Microsoft Watch: “Microsoft Seeks to Lure PeopleSoft Users.”