has been talking up its cloud software future and trying to compete with Google
Docs for quite some time. Microsoft dominates in productivity software with its
Office suite that is used by a huge number of general consumers and enterprise
users. As more and more businesses migrate from buying expensive software each
year to using a cloud-based service with continual updates for a monthly
subscription, Microsoft wants its part of that market as well.
Steve Ballmer said early this month that Microsoft Office 365 would launch
in June, and he stuck to his word. Office 365 is the cloud-based version of
the productivity software and is available for small
and mid-size businesses. The service is pay as you go and the official
pricing has now been unveiled. Office 365 for professionals and small
businesses starts at $6 monthly per user and offers email, calendar, contacts,
a personal archive, and 25GB of mailbox storage with 35MB for attachments with
It will allow the viewing and basic editing of documents using Office Web Apps
as well as access and viewing of files from a mobile phone. The service also
includes SharePoint Online to allow the design of a website, desktop Office to
web versions. Other features include Lync Online for instant messaging, online
meetings, and PC-to-PC online audio and video calls.
firms can get the service starting at $10 per user per month up to $27
per user per month depending on the features wanted. The enterprise $10 plan
appears to be the same as the small business plan. Starting at $16 monthly,
users can create and edit documents using Office Web Apps with Word, Excel,
PowerPoint, and OneNote. At $24 monthly, the user gets all the features of the
other plans and Office Professional Plus access, SharePoint Online advanced
capabilities, and unlimited Exchange Online mail storage. A $27 monthly plan
adds Lync Server on-premises to the offering.
also offers a $2 monthly basic email plan. The competing Gmail service from
Google is free.
collaboration is critical to business growth, and because it’s so important, we
believe the best collaboration technology should be available to everyone,”
said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “With a few clicks, Office 365 levels the
playing field, giving small and midsize businesses powerful collaboration tools
that have given big businesses an edge for years.”
While Microsoft is making its Office 365 pricing public and taking new orders
for the Service, Google and its competing Google Apps service are talking
Google Apps is better. Google says that Office 365 is for individuals,
while Google Apps is for teams. Google also notes that Office 365 is built for
Windows-based PCs and Google Apps is built to work on just about any platform.
Google Apps is also one price for everyone at $5 monthly with one plan and it
has no contract.
Analyst Michael Silver from Gartner said of Office 365, "It [Office 365] puts
Microsoft in a better position than they were -- they now have a broad product
that they can more easily sell."
Office software is Microsoft's most profitable offering making $3 billion in
the last quarter. Microsoft has smaller profits planned for its cloud offerings
and views it as an effort to grab a larger slice of a company's tech spending
quote: Office 365 offers a range of service plans for a predictable monthly price from $2 to $27 per user per month.
quote: Microsoft said it will charge from $2 per user per month for basic email services to $27 per user per month for advanced offerings.
quote: I can easily see that font selector in MS Office 2007 and 2010 was done by human user interface experts
quote: I dont begrudge people that want to save a little money by using an inferior product. I drive a cheap car, etc, so I get it. But I wish those folks wouldn't toss stones at Office just because they dont personally see the need for the up-market product
quote: it's just as good
quote: And it goes on and on and on. I'm just summarizing my philosophy versus yours here. Not saying yours or mine are better.
quote: So you are not convinced that one method of switching fonts could be more convenient than another?
quote: You think you proved anything with your screen shots?
quote: all those word processors use exactly the same method (roll-down list with typefaces) to change fonts
quote: I've never made such a claim
quote: Can you explain that? :)
quote: ...then it's exactly the same workers assembling, same CNC machines cutting materials, same presses pressing sheets, same designers designing component...
quote: So how come one Chinese company can do expensive nice machines and cheaper crappy machines at the same time?
quote: For all intents and purposes, it is
quote: Different machines for different purposes
quote: There is nothing "magical" about the components that went into a Mac vs. what went into a PC
quote: Every single one of your points about Apple's magical superiority
quote: There is no fundamental difference in the components in/quality of a Mac vs. a PC
quote: recent history of Apple shows that if anything, Apple designs are the worst in the world
quote: No consumer electronics maker has a record nearly as bad as Apple
quote: But feel free to hijack threads to press your Apple agenda time and time again, and repeatedly demonstrate your stupidity before the whole world
quote: No it is not. Acers and Apples are designed by totally different design departments, by designers with totally different approaches to design. Can't you see that?
quote: Ha, now you started to talk like an Apple tard. Now you suddenly rotated 180 degrees and oops - Mac is different machine now? Where did your rhetoric about Macs being "the same" go?
quote: True, but my point is not magic, not at all. My point is that you always fail to address my points about real differences between expensive Macs and cheaper PCs, like the list I posted above. Not a single word from you about THAT.
quote: There is nothing magic, ABSOLUTELY nothing magic about the facts I stated above, it's all pure technical stuff, purely technical differences in build and design. Keep calling them "magic" and demonstrate how mentally deficient YOU are.
quote: Well, I never called those differences fundamental, in the first place. You did, so you are actually calling yourself mentally deficient. Man, where is your logic?
quote: Unproven urban legend.
quote: Here I could easily hit you with a couple of links posted here on DT by our famous Mick, about Apple topping quality surveys, consumer reports or at least if not topping but then staying close to the top. Can you retort properly if I do that? Without resorting to your favorite senseless baseless bashing "apple is soo evil and sooo baaadd boohooo" style?
quote: You think your hot empty words can prove anything? :))) So naive. I could blast you with all hot empty words too, but it's much more fun to watch you trying to retort my facts with your insane bubble about some "magic".
quote: You are, in fact, trying to argue that there is something *fundamentally* "better" about Macs. That is EXACTLY what you are doing.
quote: there is no "techincal stuff" that is different
quote: There is nothing about a Mac at the same spec level as a PC to justify any difference in price.
quote: But the actual *work* done on, say, the motherboard and such is done by the people at the ODM. Like, Foxconn.
quote: There's no issue there. Note that many/most law firms are entrenched in WordPerfect Office for example. Other office suites meet those needs too, such as IBM having moved it's entire employee base to Symphony.
quote: All I say is BES and they put their Apple toys away
quote: I work in a law firm in the IT department and there hasn't been a word perfect machine in our environment in well over 10 years
quote: We have lawyers with deadlines and users that aren't 100% tech smart, so a move so something else would never happen and we are worldwide with offices all over.
quote: I can't remember many times I ran across a .odf file I had to open, but .docx files are everywhere
quote: I'd expect MS Office 2010 documents to be fully compatible with the web apps in Office 365. Something we, unfortunately, can't say about Google Docs or OpenOffice.
quote: Openoffice can suck it. The are made of fail. Sure I hate MS, but if it takes me 15 minutes of hunting to add a damn page number, "free" isn't worth it.
quote: Google stuff = freeOpenOffice + variants like Lotus Symphony = free