Microsoft Launches Office 365


Microsoft has officially launched its cloud-based productivity suite, Office 365, today. Earlier this month, we learned via a Twitter post from one of Microsoft’s executives that the product would indeed launch today.

Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Partner Group, Jon Roskill, announced via a twitter : “June 28th is the date for General Availability of Office 365! > 100,000 real customers on beta…Partners, are you ready???”

Office 365 offers access to Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online. Microsoft sees Office 365 as being a big boost for small businesses: “We’ve been in the cloud for years supporting large enterprises such as Shell and DuPont, but Office 365 takes that same technology power and delivers it to small businesses,” said Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president, Microsoft Office Division. “More than 70 percent of the people who signed up for the limited beta were small businesses, so it clearly strikes a chord.”

So why use Office 365? Microsoft offers a short explanation: “Microsoft Office 365 takes the industry’s most recognized set of productivity and collaboration tools and delivers them as a subscription service. With our cloud services, your organization can lower overall costs and deliver the right set of tools for the right users, all with appropriate layers of security and compliance. And, Office 365 includes a financially-backed service level agreement, allowing you to feel confident that you chose the best cloud solution.”

Office 365 comes in 3 different plans for academic and education institutions, midsize businesses and enterprises, and for professionals and small businesses.

Microsoft’s rival, Google, recently launched their cloud-based productivity suite. Shan Sinha, Google’s Apps Product Manager, posted a blog post giving users many reasons NOT to use Microsoft’s new Office 365 and to use Google Apps instead.

Check out Office 365 here. You can also view a quick demonstration of the cloud-based suite below (Credit to InformationWeek):

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