Microsoft announces Office 365

Microsoft announced today the newest implementation of cloud services in the MS Office platform, called Office 365. An enterprise-level suite of software and services for both small and large businesses, Office 365 promises to bring increased collaboration and productivity to the workplace using SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, Office and Lync. It is a fully browser-based solution that incorporates enterprise webmail, remote collaboration and document management in a service compatible with most browsers.  

Office 365 for Small Businesses, the entry-level package, will get access to Office Web Apps, Exchange Online, Sharepoint Online, Lync Online, and an external website for $6 per user, per month. For larger businesses, Office 365 for enterprises offers all that and some more. For $24 a user, per month, the package includes e-mail, voicemail, enterprise social networking, instant messaging, Web portals, extranets, voiceconferencing and videoconferencing, and what’s possibility the most groundbreaking feature yet, pay-as-you-go access to Office Professional Plus .

While Office 365 won’t be available until next year, Microsoft will be testing the software thoroughly in many companies globally in an expanding beta program. After the rollout of the two base packages next year, there will be versions for educational institutions as well as integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

The full press release can be found here.

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26 Comments

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Fantastic news as it finally provides some answers and a upgrade story for Office Live Small Business customers like myself. The new feature we'll be looking to take advantage of is the ability to publish/share MS Access databases and associated forms. Thats huge for my small company.

este said,
So does this include the normal office elements as well (word, excel, etc)
I dont think so but ... ?

From the article it says it does:

article said,
Office 365 promises to bring increased collaboration and productivity to the workplace using SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, Office and Lync.

Rhialto said,
Strange name... 365 stand for? 365 days in a year? Not always!

It's hard to guess the name of the next one!

the next version will be Office leap aka office 366

bluefisch200 said,

Who cares? You will die in November 2012...

November? Is that a death threat? Wonder if you might possibly be referring to 12/21/12??? LOL

So rather then own Office, I'll be leasing it for a monthly fee?!? Google offers all these online services, but for FREE.

Also I'd much rather own my copy of office, then have to pay a monthly fee to use the software... Guess Microsoft Office 2010 will be my last... OpenOffice is also FREE.

The Visitors said,
So rather then own Office, I'll be leasing it for a monthly fee?!? Google offers all these online services, but for FREE.

Also I'd much rather own my copy of office, then have to pay a monthly fee to use the software... Guess Microsoft Office 2010 will be my last... OpenOffice is also FREE.

You can access offive 2010 online for free. This is just offering a comparible premium version that google offers as well.

BTW, in the land of corporate America, the software / license fees are hardly the largest costs of implementation. Its the infrastructure, management, maintenance, training & support costs that add up.

The Visitors said,
So rather then own Office, I'll be leasing it for a monthly fee?!? Google offers all these online services, but for FREE.

Also I'd much rather own my copy of office, then have to pay a monthly fee to use the software... Guess Microsoft Office 2010 will be my last... OpenOffice is also FREE.

Thing is, you don't get the same features in Google Docs or Open Office that you do in MS Office. If you just want standard word processing, go for it but you get so much more from Office.

The Visitors said,
So rather then own Office, I'll be leasing it for a monthly fee?!? Google offers all these online services, but for FREE.

Also I'd much rather own my copy of office, then have to pay a monthly fee to use the software... Guess Microsoft Office 2010 will be my last... OpenOffice is also FREE.


OpenOffice may be free, but many people can agree that it really is inferior to Office.

Also, Google Apps for businesses is not free. It's $50 per year.

The Visitors said,
So rather then own Office, I'll be leasing it for a monthly fee?!? Google offers all these online services, but for FREE.

Also I'd much rather own my copy of office, then have to pay a monthly fee to use the software... Guess Microsoft Office 2010 will be my last... OpenOffice is also FREE.

OpenOffice or Google docs doesn't even come close to MS Office.

The Visitors said,
So rather then own Office, I'll be leasing it for a monthly fee?!? Google offers all these online services, but for FREE.

Also I'd much rather own my copy of office, then have to pay a monthly fee to use the software... Guess Microsoft Office 2010 will be my last... OpenOffice is also FREE.

Google Docs FREE for BUSINESS?!?!?!? Really????
Hmmmm... since you like anything which is FREE, let me give you some FREE advice...
Please TRY to think before you post something, it really helps...

The Visitors said,
So rather then own Office, I'll be leasing it for a monthly fee?!? Google offers all these online services, but for FREE.

Also I'd much rather own my copy of office, then have to pay a monthly fee to use the software... Guess Microsoft Office 2010 will be my last... OpenOffice is also FREE.

Umm, I can't see where it says they'll be discontinuing the other flavours of office?

Minimoose said,
I love people complaining about enterprise solutions from a home users perspective.

Exactly this. People... an MS Office license is pocket change. If your organization is trying to save money by splitting hairs over software licenses and what you need to do your job, then I would question the sustainability of that business or if you are even an asset to your organization.

Goldenlotus said,

Google Docs FREE for BUSINESS?!?!?!? Really????
Hmmmm... since you like anything which is FREE, let me give you some FREE advice...
Please TRY to think before you post something, it really helps...

+1

The Visitors said,
So rather then own Office, I'll be leasing it for a monthly fee?!? Google offers all these online services, but for FREE.

Does the law not state that you never actually OWN the software... You buy the right to USE the software?

As everyone says... For a business.. Leasing office is very high on the demand listing these days... Takes alot off the big bill of an upgrade to rent/lease office...

I stand by my statement... I'd rather have a physical copy of Office then having to "rent" Office or its services.

I would think the majority of users, small business, and even some larger corporates may agree (though not all).

I listed OpenOffice & Google as examples. Though I know one major corporation (fortune 500) which does use OpenOffice.... My point being though, is not everyone would like to have to pay a monthly fee.

AnotherITguy said,
A good idea, but will it catch on thats the question
Yeah, but Microsoft is usually pretty good with getting people signed up.