Microsoft launches new business versions of Office 365

Microsoft launched Office 365 Home Premium a month ago but today it's all about the business world for the company's cloud software suite. As promised, Microsoft has launched new versions of Office 365 for small, medium and large businesses.

Microsoft's press release said the number of small and midsize businesses that have decided to use Office 365 has increased by 150 percent in the last 18 months. The new version that launched today is currently available in 69 markets and 17 languages. By the end of the first quarter of 2013, Microsoft will add another 20 markets and 16 languages to that total.

In terms of new features, Microsoft says, "Office 365 features enhanced enterprise social capabilities with SharePoint and Yammer today, and Lync-Skype connectivity for presence, instant messaging (IM), and voice by June."

As with Office 365 Home Premium, the various versions of Office 365 for business offer them a way to have a large number of licenses for the new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more under one yearly or monthly subscription fee. In a separate blog post, Kurt DelBene, President of the Microsoft Office division, stated:

In the coming years, we believe that most, if not all, Office customers will choose to subscribe given the benefits and unique scenarios that only come alive in the cloud. In the meantime, we are uniquely positioned to provide our customers with unmatched choice and flexibility by offering traditional client and server versions of our products, in addition to the new Office services.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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13 Comments

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If you need the desktop version its still hugely overpriced... Office 365 Small Business Premium Is £100.80 per user per year, whereas Microsoft Office Home and Business 2013 is £145.82 (Amazon). One of these will last a year, the other version will last 3 or more years before an upgrade becomes necessary.

I decided to get the Office 365 University bundle - it's not bad for $80 for 4 years...

I got Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, and Access for two computers, Office on demand for other computers, 20 GB more Skydrive space, 60 Skype minutes/month. Not bad for $20/year for all that. Not a huge fan of the UI in Office 2013, but eh.

Unfortunately they are still screwing over existing customers with their lack of any information as to when we might be upgraded to the new Office 365 version, as well as Office 2013.

i think nesl247 is referring to the other office 365 product (hosted exchange, hosted sharepoint, lync) that existed prior to the new generation of office 365 (ie home premium) products. Not very helpful that microsoft they called them the same thing when they are different products that meet different needs.

ahodgey said,
i think nesl247 is referring to the other office 365 product (hosted exchange, hosted sharepoint, lync) that existed prior to the new generation of office 365 (ie home premium) products. Not very helpful that microsoft they called them the same thing when they are different products that meet different needs.

Out of curiosity I signed in for the two week trial and it seems to me that, at least using the Small Business option, you do not get a "full" Exchange" account but an "Outlook" based one.

Fritzly said,

Out of curiosity I signed in for the two week trial and it seems to me that, at least using the Small Business option, you do not get a "full" Exchange" account but an "Outlook" based one.


And Outlook (.com) comes with Exchange for subscription users.

Shadowzz said,

And Outlook (.com) comes with Exchange for subscription users.

Unfortunately it is not the same as an hosted Exchange account.

An interesting concept--cloud-based software on a subscription basis. I don't see that combination being any kind of compelling situation for a vast majority of business situations. Perhaps somewhat old-fashioned; but nothing beats being in control of one's own business.

That's true, but this would eliminate the need for more dedicated IT staff. Also, for small businesses, they wouldn't need any IT staff. For bigger companies it probably wouldn't be compelling.

Along with the cost of maintaining and running the servers the do the messaging stuff. It would be feasible for a LOT of small businesses.

Except in quite a lot of businesses it's very compelling as they are already doing this, whether it's with Google Apps for Business or Office 365

testman said,
Except in quite a lot of businesses it's very compelling as they are already doing this, whether it's with Google Apps for Business or Office 365

MS has been taking away from small businesses the great products that allowed them to run things " in house" killing, for example, SBS server and the ridiculous prices and licensing limitations of Office 2013 so it is not surprising that these entities are moving to this new subscription paradigm; of course they are doing it out of options more than by choice but, at least in short, mid terms, this will be beneficial to MS financial reports.