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Microsoft announces Office 365By Hanleigh Daniels 20 October 2010 | Categories: news
Microsoft is looking to take on Google Docs with its announcement of Microsoft Office 365, which is the company’s cloud-based productivity suite that brings together Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online in an always-up-to-date cloud service.
According to the Redmond-based company, Office 365 will make it easier for millions more organisations to obtain and employ Microsoft’s business productivity solutions via the cloud. By using Office 365, users will be able to work together more easily from anywhere on a myriad of device, whilst collaborating with others inside and outside their organisation.
“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 works with the most popular browsers, smartphones as well as desktop applications and Office 365 for small businesses, professionals and small companies with fewer than 25 employees, can have the productivity suite running with Office Web Apps, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online and an external website in just 15 minutes, for $6 (about R42) per user each month.
Office 365 for enterprises caters for the needs of larger businesses as well as government organisations and its pricing will start at $2 (approx. R14) per user each month for basic e-mail.
It also includes the option to get Microsoft Office Professional Plus desktop software on a pay-as-you-go basis for the first time. Companies will be able to get Office Professional Plus along with e-mail, voicemail, enterprise social networking, instant messaging, Web portals, extranets, voice-conferencing and video-conferencing, web-conferencing, 24/7 phone support and on-premises licenses.
Local pricing and availability details aren’t available yet, but Office 365 will be available worldwide (40 countries and regions) next year. Microsoft has already opened a limited beta program for Office 365 in 13 countries and regions yesterday and this beta program will be expanded to include more organisations over time.
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