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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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RE: ALL YOUR DATA BELONG TO US!
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.


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