Update: Microsoft Office 365 goes live
The release follows a nine-month beta program (see video below)
IDG News Service - Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer launched the much-awaited Office 365 on Tuesday, after a beta program of about nine months, as the company responds -- some critics say belatedly -- to the rising popularity of cloud-based applications for collaboration and communication.
"Office 365 is where Office meets the cloud," Ballmer said at an event in New York.
Office 365 is the next version of the BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite) collaboration and communication suite. Among the main improvements in Office 365 is that its applications, including Exchange Online and SharePoint Online, are based on the 2010 version of their on-premise counterparts, while BPOS' are based on the 2007 version. Office 365 also comes with Lync Online, which is an upgrade to Office Communications Online.
Also significant is that Office 365 offers customers the option to have Office productivity applications like Word and Excel either through Office Web Apps -- the online version of Office -- or through the full-fledged, on-premise Office Professional Plus 2010 delivered via a subscription model.
Office 365 comes in a variety of configuration options, starting from an e-mail only version that costs $2 per user, per month, to the most sophisticated option with Office Professional Plus and voice communications capabilities with Lync Server on premises, which costs $27 per user per month. Lync Server is the next version of Office Communications Server. A version tailored for small businesses with 25 or fewer end users costs $6 per user per month.
Ballmer stressed that Office 365 is designed for businesses of all sizes. More than 70% of the about 200,000 companies that beta-tested Office 365 were small and medium-size businesses, he said.
Officials demonstrated Office 365 capabilities, like the ability for multiple users to jointly collaborate and edit documents in real time, not only from PC browsers but also from mobile devices.
"Collaboration is critical for business growth," Ballmer said.
Microsoft also announced that Bell Canada, Intuit, NTT Communications, Telefonica, Telstra and Vodafone are some of the partners that will resell Office 365 with their own services.
With Office 365, Microsoft is responding to an explosion in recent years of cloud-based enterprise collaboration and communication suites from a variety of large and niche vendors alike, including big names like Google, Cisco, IBM, VMware and Novell and specialists like Jive Software, Socialtext, Box.net and Zoho.
- Chicago's CIO doesn't believe in 'good enough'
- Microsoft Office 2013 fires shot at Google's enterprise push
- Google gives Google Docs offline capabilities
- Office 365 off-limits to existing BPOS customers
- Update: Microsoft Office 365 goes live
- Wyoming cuts cable, moves to cloud with Google Apps
- Microsoft takes cloud fight to Google
- Microsoft Office 365: Guide to a slew of versions, prices
- Update: Microsoft makes big cloud move with Office 365
- Google rolls out Apps for Government
- CIOs Deliver Productivity Breakthroughs with Intelligent Digital Signage Retailers have long recognized the influence that digital signage provides over a shopper's point-of-purchase decision making process.
- 2014 Gartner Magic Quadrant Report For the 7th year in a row, Riverbed is in the "Leaders" Quadrant of the 2014 Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization Controllers. In...
- Improving Business Value of WAN Optimization Want to achieve faster ROI with WAN optimization? Read the latest IDC report and discover how you can cut IT costs without compromising...
- IDC ROI Infographic Trends such as evolving communication patterns, connection types, applications and bandwidth can have an impact on enterprise organizations. Learn how IT organizations can...
- Transform Your IT Service Management Watch this webinar, to learn how EasyVista can increase IT productivity & efficiency and deliver streamlined & integrated IT Service & Asset Mgmt.
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to... All Applications White Papers | Webcasts