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By Betsy Frost Webb
It’s a game changer for Microsoft, and it’s going to be a game changer for businesses of all sizes, government agencies and even for education. Announced just today, Office 365 is the next step in the future of productivity. Is this what’s next for BPOS? Yes. Is this what’s next for Office Live Small Business? Yes. Is this what’s next for Live@edu? Yes. Will Office desktop software be available as part of a cloud service? Yes. Is this productivity in the cloud? Yes. And, it’s even more than that. It’s the best of everything Microsoft knows about business productivity in one service.
With Office 365, everything is designed to work together. Earlier this year, the launch of our flagship products, Office, SharePoint, and Exchange 2010 ushered in the future of productivity. Together with Lync, these products provide the backbone for the modern business. Customers using these 2010 products are benefiting from super productive employees who can work from anywhere, on any device and from anywhere in the world. But what if you are the local cupcake shop on Main Street – have you been using all these kinds of tools for your business? Probably not. What if you are a bigger business, trapped on legacy technology that limits accessibility behind the firewall – have your people been as productive as those using the latest innovations? Probably not.
Now, you can have it all with Office 365. We’ve not only designed and built our flagship products to work together, but with Office 365, we’re taking the next step and delivering all these capabilities as designed in the cloud. ‘Rich presence’ suddenly lights up everywhere in Office, and you can see at-a-glance if a colleague is available and call, IM, e-mail, or even start a video conference in one click. You can bring social networking to everyday work tasks like document sharing and collaboration – but with all the security and privacy that a business requires. These are just a couple of the many amazing features you get with Office 365.
We designed Office 365 to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes – from one to one million. You’ll be able to pick and choose services and tailor the package to fit your needs – whether you are a government agency, small business or enterprise company; whether you have information workers or factory floor workers, store managers on location or on the go, or a combination of all types.
‘Game changer’ is a big statement, but we believe this will change the way you do business. The technology is the latest, most up-to-date and comprehensive service you can find. It’s based on Office, so you already know how to use it. It’s online and designed to work with the software, phones and browsers people use most today, including the new Windows Phones as well as a host of others. We are investing deeply and have tens of thousands of people around the world backing this service. We have secured the industry’s most rigorous security and privacy standards and will bring those to Office 365 along with 24/7 phone and community support. We have the world’s smartest and best partner ecosystem getting ready to help you take advantage of Office 365. We are serious about Office 365 being what your business, non-profit, government agency or school needs to succeed.
Beta opens today. Get your spot at www.office365.com starting at noon pacific time. Read more on the Microsoft Office News Center. Watch the demo on Channel 9.
So as a current Live@edu school should I plan for a cost per account now? What is the timeline for this? I would like to start planning now with my user base.
As a "Lone Ranger" consultant, I have been waiting for this capability for a long time -- can't wait to use it!
Small correction: the correct URL is http://office365.com. Adding the www takes you to a non-MS property.
Ich mag ja reines Marketing-bla-bla (auch als Marketier) nicht immer gut leiden. Aber die zu unserer
Does this actually include online storage for traditional file shares or would we be looking at getting all that kind of content into Sharepoint?
Ok, having read all the Office 365 stuff I have a question: Several places in your web pages, you calim to support "Office Professional Plus" without any qualifications in that claim. So, what about Access? You either need to provide some clarity about what PORTIONS of Office Professional Plus you DO really support, or you need to do some 'splaining about what form of support for Microsoft Access will be a part of this Office 365 offering!
I work with a non-profit that currently obtains software such as Office at unbeatable prices through TechSoup. However, while the software is cheap the hardware and support of an Exchange server is beyond the cost of many non-profits; hence, the Exchange Online is very appealing to this market. Is there going to be an option for just Exchange Online, and how is Office 365 going to be marketed to non-profits? Are "cloud-based" products from MS going to be sold via TechSoup, or is another means being developed through MS Partners. Or, is this all TBD?
I don't see SQL or Access, 2 critical parts of our infrastructure. Are they there, or going to be supported?
What is the story for VOIP? I seem to recall that being a Lynch feature but don't see it mentioned on the 365 site.
Lots of great questions! Can't quite keep up with all of you! If your answer isn't here, look for the Q+A that will go up each day, as I am sure many others will have the same type of questions.
Tony: No it does not, $6 is the small business offer which includes the Office Web Apps. Check out more on pricing and plans here -> office365.microsoft.com/.../what-is-office365.aspx
1) Yes and no. We have a small business offer that includes the Office Web Apps, but small business with more complex needs are more than welcome to purchase the enterprise addition that includes Office desktop software.
2 + 3) I will include answers in the Q+A I am doing, also you can find more here.
Robert: Glad to have you on our side!
Officeman: We think we have a lot to offer that no other company can match. Check out more on Office365.com and sign up for the beta to find out yourself!
This looks like a very nice product.
As a Sharepoint Developer, i am interested in some of the sharepoint stuff that it can provide.
1. Does it provide a platform similar to Sharepoint with Lists, LIbraries, Workflows and customizations?
2. Does it use the microsoft related authorization?
3. Is there anyway that you will provide some features to move the users from our company Active Directory to Office 365?
Very interested in this as a small business owner. My company name is currently registered with another ISP. Can I switch that to Office365? I remember office live didn't quite allow that.
I always looked forward to improve my website, maybe its time for change!
But, I'll be worry from losing all my hard work working on the site since 2008.
I lost my hard work once when I was member of MSN social netwrok
I couldn't transfer the files to Multiply, hope this wont be the case here for Office 365!
Will Office 365 support public folders for Exchange?
@Surech: Yes you can migrate your domain name to Office 365.
@Ned: Unfortunately, we are not supporting public folders in Office 365 at this time. We are always looking to expand our capabilities, so stay tuned.
I am reading in the article here about the "rigorous privacy standards" and I'd like to get more details; specifically, does Microsoft glean ANY information at all from the information, documents, emails, etc. I post online using Office 365?
Google Apps was first to market, so the question above is valid- Is Office 365 essentially the equivalent of Google Apps (with some different features, of course)? It appears that it is, but with one very significant difference... Google's president proudly touts that they know everything about their users. They read my emails there to "learn about me" and target me with specific advertising, and it seems my 'private' Google docs are also not safe from their eavesdropping. That isn't acceptable for some of my work, and so I cannot trust Google Apps for that reason. So I really need to know whether Microsoft is handling that part of privacy differently.