Print 20 comment(s) - last by The Raven.. on Oct 21 at 3:24 PM

Office 365 beta kicks off this year  (Source: Microsoft)
Limited beta this year with general availability in 2011

Two biggest and most profitable products that Microsoft offers are Office and the Windows operating system. The company has announced this week that it is set to start testing a new cloud-based online version of Office that will battle directly against Google Docs in the business market for productivity software.

The new service is called Office 365 and Microsoft says that the new offering makes it easy for workers and users anywhere to access Office productivity solutions and more from virtually any device on virtually any browser. Office 365 is launching in a limited beta program in 13 countries with various organizations soon.

Office 365 will work on devices like smartphones and the iPad reports 
ReutersReuters also notes that Office 365 supports not only IE but Firefox, Chrome, and Safari browsers as well. Microsoft says the new software offering was developed based on close work with existing customers.

"Office 365 is the best of everything we know about productivity, all in a single cloud service,” said Kurt DelBene, president of the Office Division at Microsoft. “With Office 365, your local bakery can get enterprise-caliber software and services for the first time, while a multinational pharmaceutical company can reduce costs and more easily stay current with the latest innovations. People can focus on their business, while we and our partners take care of the technology."

Office 365 for small companies with under 25 workers will offer Office Web Apps, Exchange Online, SharePoint online, Lync Online, and an external website for $6 per user per month. Larger enterprise users will be offered basic email for $2 monthly and more robust versions of the software will be offered for $24 monthly per user with access to Office Professional Plus along with e-mail, voicemail, enterprise social networking, instant messaging, Web portals, extranets, voiceconferencing and videoconferencing, webconferencing, 24x7 phone support, on-premises licenses and a lot more.

“For a small business, Office 365 is a perfect way to start,” said Rob Nichols, chief technology officer of Allovus Design, a graphic design firm and member of Microsoft’s Customer Advisory Board for Office 365. “It has all the features we need, and we can come out of the gate with the same tools the big guys have — on day one.”

Microsoft will offer Office 365 globally starting next year with general availability in 40 countries and regions. Office 365 for Education will also debut next year for students.

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By The Raven on 10/20/2010 11:02:24 AM , Rating: 1
So is MS going to put out ads blasting this as an inferior product to MSO?

RE: Advertising
By Luticus on 10/20/2010 12:03:15 PM , Rating: 2
LoL, i understand the intended humor here... but this is one of the dumbest things i've ever heard! :)

RE: Advertising
By Klober on 10/20/2010 12:23:28 PM , Rating: 2
You're better than I Luticus as I don't even really see the intended humor. :p

RE: Advertising
By Luticus on 10/20/2010 12:51:49 PM , Rating: 2
You're better than I Luticus as I don't even really see the intended humor.

incase that wasn't sarcasm or you just missed the prior article his comment was most likely a jab at Microsoft for the commercial that blasted open office. though it appears his comment had the misfortune of being poorly constructed and generally not well received. :)

RE: Advertising
By Smilin on 10/20/2010 12:58:45 PM , Rating: 3
though it appears his comment had the misfortune of being poorly constructed and generally not well received. :)

Indeed. The derp was strong.

RE: Advertising
By The Raven on 10/21/2010 2:57:54 PM , Rating: 2
Just because MS is dumb... doesn't mean we can't joke about it! Don't be so serious.

There, did you get that one too?

RE: Advertising
By Klober on 10/20/2010 12:09:10 PM , Rating: 2
That makes perfect sense - blast a product you've spent countless man-hours developing and are trying to get people to pay for. That's like you creating an app for the Android Market, asking people to pay $4.99 for it, and then down-rating your app to 1 star yourself and giving yourself bad comments.

RE: Advertising
By The Raven on 10/21/2010 2:59:39 PM , Rating: 2
<makes motion of hand going over head>

RE: Advertising
By kattanna on 10/20/2010 12:29:41 PM , Rating: 2
blasting? i dont see it.

but it is going to be interesting to see how they try to differentiate the 2.

honestly though, i dont see a lot of companies suddenly dumping their 100's or 1,000's, or more, of licenses to get a lesser product online.

also any company that is already bandwidth limited will not find this an attractive idea. that and many simply willnt trust all their company data to others or "the cloud"

RE: Advertising
By Smilin on 10/20/2010 12:55:26 PM , Rating: 3
You don't dump your existing although you may not choose to buy it again next time. They compliment each other when used together.

Unlike google docs you can also do full or partial on-premise. Maybe snag accounts for your road-warriors but leave office confined people using only on-premise.

RE: Advertising
By theprofessor on 10/20/2010 12:58:28 PM , Rating: 2
How is this a lesser product? It's the same software companies currently use, only it's hosted and managed by Microsoft. And I believe, if you're talking about Microsoft Office 2010 licenses, you may be able to use them with this service without having to pay for those licenses again. But pretty much this would be an option for those that are looking to upgrade to the Office 2010 suite of products and would rather have someone else manage them.

That's also the differentiating factor. Do you want to have your own IT department managing these services software, or would you rather have that work outsourced to Microsoft.

RE: Advertising
By The Raven on 10/21/2010 3:04:34 PM , Rating: 2
Options?! MS doesn't believe in options according to their attack on OpenOffice, and that was what I was alluding to in the OP.

RE: Advertising
By Smilin on 10/20/2010 12:51:59 PM , Rating: 3
I think you're taking a jab at the recent video blasting OpenOffice but ironically Office 365 is just further proof that OpenOffice is indeed inferior.

Office365 and Office2010 are well integrated. You can actually move and edit documents in and out of the cloud and maintain 100% fidelity. OpenOffice can't even maintain fidelity on-premise let alone provide a cloud service.

RE: Advertising
By The Raven on 10/21/2010 3:24:47 PM , Rating: 2
I know. It can't cook you breakfast either. But that is what you get with a free product for making docs, spreadsheets, or managing a database. If you want to put something in the cloud use Google docs or even Office365.

But that is exactly my point. I think that OO is inferior.
MS thinks that just because it is inferior it is bad for your school/company/home and then make a ridiculous ad about that opinion.

And BTW, it does maintain 100% fidelity among apps that embrace odf. Yeah it has problems playing with MSO, but that is because that is how MS likes it. If MS would ditch their proprietary formats then that wouldn't even be an issue. (Hence I use G-docs for sharing).

And this is by no means a claim that Office365 is an inferior product. If it is what you need, more power to you. I just don't like MS attacking the little guy. And not the Steve Jobs kind of little guy. I mean the people who use and code for OO and other open-source projects.

The cloud
By atlmann10 on 10/20/10, Rating: 0
RE: The cloud
By Smilin on 10/20/2010 6:03:06 PM , Rating: 3
You lost me at $.

It's 2010. Step out of the 90s. Microsoft has grown up and so should you.

First service pack is
By KIAman on 10/20/2010 3:18:58 PM , Rating: 2
fixing the leap year bug.

By Howard on 10/20/2010 10:03:17 PM , Rating: 2
Thought it said Orifice 365...

By ipay on 10/20/10, Rating: -1
By Luticus on 10/20/2010 1:01:32 PM , Rating: 5
if you read the article you'd realize that your local bakery won't be paying 24 per desktop because that's the "larger more robust version" that only large corporations would be using. smaller companies get a discounted version that will offer them all the tools they need to do what they need to do. for larger companies it may be worth it to pay the monthly fee because they currently pay a yearly license (i believe) to use ms office on their systems. i guess in this case it would depend on the number of users vs. the license fee.

Now a lesson on not sounding like a moron and maybe avoiding getting rated into oblivion: How about avoid the caps and the bold except where necessary and actually read and understand the article before you blast it unnecessarily.

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates
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