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By Clint Patterson, Director of Communications, Microsoft Office Division
The reaction to Office 365 has been tremendous. In the last 36 hours, we've seen news stories from around the world and made hundreds of new friends on Facebook and Twitter.
We've also had the opportunity to welcome some new friends to the cloud with Office 365 when Steve Ballmer and Michael Bloomberg announced a major new partnership to modernize New York city's IT with Microsoft cloud services. If we can make it there, we can make it anywhere.
As we told you earlier, we will keep answering your questions as they come! Answers to the next top ten follow below. Keep them coming!
1) Are Office apps really "in the cloud" with Office 365?
Yes. People using Office 365 can download the latest versions of Office apps from the cloud, and all updates are managed via the cloud (with Microsoft Update), as is all licensing. The Office apps run locally on your PC for the best performance and user experience. This is just like Office Web Apps and Office Mobile are designed to provide the best experience when you're using a browser or a mobile phone respectively. People don't care so much where their apps are running; they just want the best experience whether they're using a PC, a phone, or a browser.
2) What happens when the Internet is down, or you are where you have no Internet? Can you still work "offline"?
Yes. With Office 365, Office desktop apps are downloaded, managed and updated via the cloud, but they run locally on your PC. Because of this, you can still be productive, even when you are not connected to the Internet.
3) What's the minimum number of users?
One. We think sole proprietors are gonna love Office 365.
4) If I'm a small business but interested in Office 365 for enterprises, do I still have the option to create a public facing company website as with Office 365 for small businesses?
Yes you do! You get the same option for a public facing website regardless of whether you purchase Office 365 for enterprises or for small businesses.
5) Is Microsoft still committed to an on premise solution like Small Business Server for smaller companies? Will SBS work with Office 365?
Yes. There are two editions of the next version of Small Business Server. One of them, SBS "Aurora" is an affordable, easy-to-use "first server" option for small businesses with 1-25 people. It meets the core needs of small businesses for things like remote access, file/print, and protecting their data with both client and server backup.
We're looking to integrate numerous Microsoft technologies, including Office 365, with SBS "Aurora" in the future. You can sign up to be notified when the public preview of SBS "Aurora" is available here.
6) Is Office365 compatible with other OS's web browsers?
Yes, Office 365 works with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome.
7) What smartphones are supported?
Office 365 works with Windows Phone 7, iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia and Android devices. Some phones have more complete support - for example, you can sync SharePoint Workspaces to your Windows Phone and view your docs on-the-go.
8) Will there be a BPOS-D like version of Office 365?
Yes. With Office 365, customers can choose to use dedicated infrastructure, otherwise known as a 'private cloud'. Typically, a private cloud environment works best for larger organizations (more than 5,000 people) that require greater customization, and this option requires a hosting fee based on the customer's unique requirements.
9) Do you plan to add/integrate CRM in future? How does Office 365 work with CRM Online 2011?
Yes. Yesterday, we announced that we will bring CRM Online to the Office 365 family next year as an option for customers who want an even more complete cloud-based business environment.
Today, CRM Online works great with Office apps like Outlook. For more info, see the Dynamics CRM site.
10) Will Office 365 for education be provided to current Live@edu customers at no cost? Will migration from Live@EDU be transparent?
Current Live@edu customers get the same pricing they have today for their existing services, such as email. Office 365 for education includes new services that are not in Live@edu, such as advanced Exchange features, Lync Online, SharePoint Online, voicemail, and Blackberry support. Customers can get those with academic discounts.
We will have transition details for Live@edu customers early next year to help them prepare for Office 365 for education later next year.
Keep your questions coming, and I'll post answers to the top ones again tomorrow!
I've read through the Fact Sheet info, and I'm confused about the Office 365 Offering for Small Business. Does that include licenses for Office 2010 applications? Or do I need to purchase the Office 365 for Enterprises to get that? Because I'd love to get the small business offering for a small firm, but without the Office 2010 app the value is diminished.
And how is the license provided? Is it the Click-2-Run implementation of Office 2010?
Wow! I have BPOS today and also have implemented it for 2 small customers (40 employees). It is superb for them both techniccaly and financially. NOW it will be upgraded and include Office as well!
With the technology in Sharepoint 2010 being more flexible and the offline possibilities by using office 2010 this package is a killer!
Then give the flexibility to have a monthly payment and increase/decreas as you grow og decline.... this is what we want!
Can't wait till I get the Beta!
Congratulations Microsoft. This is truly a great change in licensing your solutions.
what i find typical for microsoft is the inability to give me what i need or what is promised. you offer the program but yet when i sign up, there is no room. what else is new with you guys....how sad!
if you are going to offer something, then let it happen...this service is way overdue and very needed.
maybe by 2012 i will see it!
We use a VOIP phone system that integrates with our Outlook. Will this still be an option with Office365?
#2 - This is very cool - I don't think Google Apps can do that.
Things are still a bit fuzzy for me on the education side of things. We were looking at moving to Live@Edu during the first part of 2010.
"Current Live@edu customers get the same pricing they have today for their existing services, such as email. Office 365 for education includes new services that are not in Live@edu, such as advanced Exchange features, Lync Online, SharePoint Online, voicemail, and Blackberry support. Customers can get those with academic discounts. "
Will we still have access to the free aspects or since we are a late adopter or will we be forced into paying for Office 365 for Education. If that is the case we will have to stay with Google Apps since price wins out over preference in this case.
I have the same issue as charlieA the doc's on this still confuse the heck out of me!
@CharlieA: With Office365 for small business, you get access to the Office Web Apps with the regular $6 offer. If you feel you need the full Office Pro Plus desktop suite, you can add this for $12 a month, for a total of $18/month. Regardless of your size, you have the ablitity to purchase the enterprise offer if you feel you this is a better option for you!
@PerOveS: We love you! This is why we are in the business.
@joedobronski: No they cannot!
@Kelly: More about your situation can be found here -> www.microsoft.com/.../learn-about-office-365.aspx. For clarity, Live@edu institutions will be able to continue under their existing contracts/terms. Office 365 includes a lot of great new options with advanced features. Most of these will be available but pricing and plans are forthcoming. As with all Microsoft offers to students and educational institutions, there will be academic discounts involved. Hope this helps.
@Gary D: Your question will be included in the next Q+A. Look for your answer there!
you need to change the main www.office365 on it it says office365 includes office professional, and thats not entirely accurate it should say that office365 enterprise includes office professional its a little confusing. I also have a word doc on pricing and it also starts out by saying office365 includes office 2010 professional.
1 user minimum? That's fantastic? Being forced into a 5 user license kind of sucks in BPOS.
Are there plans to provide a VoIP telephone service with Office 365? Something like what companies such as Telesphere, FreedomVoice, Velocity Networks or OnSIP offer? Our entire company works remotely and we currently have a hosted VoIP phone provider (dissatisfied with them). We also use Google Apps and GoToMeeting. It would be great if we can consolidate all of this into a single offering that is integrated and just works.
Current junk email filtering is done via a seperate quarantine, will this be simplified to simply 'junk' email folder with no seperate log-ins required? Makes sense from the simplified strategy taking place here, just wanted to check.
You say the minimum user is one. Great move!
The Fact sheet for the Enterprise version says "Office 365 offers great flexibility by allowing businesses to provide people access to only the services they need and pay-as-you-go pricing options" Does this mean the "True-Up" and more specifically the "True-Down" rules have changed as well. i.e. Can a customer "true-down" at the end of any month rather than only at anniversary?
Can a single individual become a Ofiice365 reseller? How? Thanks!