Rollup 7 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM2011 contains a new feature to help improve the form load speed, especially useful for those users who are more inclined to open and read records as opposed to edit.

The feature can be activated within System Settings under the 'Form Mode' section. Edit retains the current behaviour, Read-Optimized sets all forms to read only initially, and 'Allow users to select a mode for viewing forms' enables the user to set this feature within their personal options area.

If the system setting allows, the user's personal options may be configured to default all forms to 'Organisational Default', 'Read-Optimized', or 'Edit'.

When set to read-optimized, the user will be presented with a form that is in a read only state. The screenshot below illustrates an account form in a read optimized state:

When the user clicks the 'Edit' button, then the form will load in the way we are all familiar with:

I think this is a nice idea and has the potential to help the user experience however when activated all entities display as read optimized, including activities. It would be neat if this feature could be enhanced so that it could be turned on for specific 'heavily customised' entities that really would benefit from this feature without forcing that extra button click on all other records. You can vote for this enhancement on Microsoft Connect by following this URL

Some other nuances to note, if your form has any JScript events, then the form will be presented in edit mode.
If you make use of multiple forms, it is not possible to toggle the forms without entering edit mode.
Finally, the helper navigation buttons in the web client forms that allow the quick cycling through records on a view is also omitted. 

For further information, you can visit the MSDN blog here

Rob Boyers