Microsoft Office 365 is the best cloud app of 2011, according to CRN. Listing the 15 best products of 2011, the magazine said that Office 365 was 'the real deal, and it blows away Google Apps.'
So, what's so great about Office 365? CRN cites price as one of the primary draws, with subscriptions starting at $6 per month per user, which is actually a dollar more than the monthly pricing for Google Apps for Business. Office 365 also came out ahead because of its ease of use, since it's possible to roll out full functionality across large enterprises in a matter of minutes.
Office 365 offers more than just a version of Office in the cloud, including Exchange Online for e-mail, SharePoint Online for document collaboration and sharing, and Lync Online for communications.
Since its launch earlier this year, Microsoft says that Office 365 has been growing eight times faster than expected. Despite some issues with downtime, overall the reaction to the product has been positive, and it is a true competitor to Google Docs. The biggest benefactors of their competition are, of course, their customers. You can bet that Microsoft and Google will both be working hard to entice users with new features and more stability as the cloud becomes more and more important to their business.
Other products that made CRN's list included the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Mac OS X Lion, the HP TouchSmart 9300 Elite, and LibreOffice. The best product of the year? Apple's iPad 2.