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By Clint Patterson, Director of Communications, Microsoft Office Division
More great questions. More answers that we hope are great too.
I saw several questions today on Office desktop apps, so the first five really focus on the options there, including some 'splaining around Microsoft Access. The rest cover ground from domains to voice.
I also want to point folks to some great resources for Office 365. The Office 365 website is more than pretty pictures (but it has those too). It includes a detailed QA, and some great product detail. In addition, there is Office 365 transition center for great information and discussion on transitioning to Office 365 from BPOS.
In addition, if you have a Microsoft partner, they are a great resource and I encourage you to reach out to them. If you don't have a partner, you can find one here.
We are seeing an overwhelming response to beta. If you have already signed up, stay tuned for an e-mail in a couple weeks to let you know next steps. Because the beta is limited, everyone won't be in the first round of testing, but we'll expand over time. So if you haven't signed up, do it now to reserve your place in line.
The Office 365 experience is always best with Office desktop apps. With Office 365, you can get Office desktop apps in a flexible, pay-as-you-go, per user service model. This really provides the best experience of Office on the PC, mobile phone, and browser.
If you already have Office desktop apps (2007 SP2 or later on PC; 2008 or later on Mac), you can use those with Office 365. But, even if you already have a compatible version, you may want to get Office desktop apps with Office 365 for a few reasons:
No. It does not include Office desktop apps as part of the core $6 offering. Office 365 for small businesses includes:
You can, however, add Office Professional Plus desktop apps to Office 365 for small business. See the next question.
There are two main options:
Office Professional Plus includes the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, Access, InfoPath, SharePoint Workspace and Lync.
You get a full copy of Access and can run your applications on it locally. You can also sync it with your public web site using Access Services. Imagine you store your inventory in Access and want that to show up on your web site. You can sync the database to SharePoint Online, make few adjustments using the site designer, and voila, your inventory shows up on your web site. You choose what appears publically. For more information about Access, here's a video from the product team.
(Click-to-run is technology that allows you to use software that is running on another computer via an Internet connection.)
This is not click-to-run. It runs locally for the best performance, but it is downloaded from, licensed by and updated via the cloud with Office 365. So you get the flexibility of a service model. For example, an administrator can go to the admin console in Office 365 and give me a license to Office Professional Plus. I download Office Professional Plus and run it, and it gets updated regularly via the cloud. If the admin decides I no longer get a license, she can go to the same admin console and give my license to you, and my Office Professional Plus will go into "reduced functionality mode". Meaning, I can view my content, but I can't edit, create, print or save. I am now sad and envious of your productivity power.
Today, you can already make PC-to-PC VoIP calls with BPOS. At launch, Lync Online will add audio/video federation (pc-to-pc calls across companies) and online meetings (multi-party Lync audio/video/web conferencing sessions. We plan to make voice calling capabilities (i.e. Lync to PSTN calling) available via Lync Online in the future, so stay tuned to more details on that down the road.
With Office 365 for enterprises, customers can choose an offer that includes rights to Lync Server for full enterprise voice support on-premises. Lync Server will integrate with Exchange Online for voice mail and presence information. More details and recommended configurations for how to deploy Lync Server working with Office 365 are in the works. You can read up on Lync Server capabilities on the Lync web site.
Data is stored in geo-redundant data centers nearest to the customer's headquarters. We have industry-leading data centers in the US, Ireland, Japan, Holland, Hong Kong, Singapore, and other locations. Not all data center locations are disclosed to ensure privacy and security. You can read more about our data centers and even see some video footage of them at the Microsoft Global Foundation Services (the data center people) web site.
We take our responsibility to safeguard customer data very seriously, whether the customer is using our cloud service or our desktop and server software. Many of our security practices are not public or are shared with customers only confidentially to ensure that we can continue to provide the highest levels of security.
Our services are built to adhere to strict privacy standards as described in our security white paper "Microsoft's Privacy Guidelines for Developing Software Products and Services." This set of standards helps ensure that protections are incorporated into our products and services. We also have a pretty in-depth Trustworthy Computing Privacy web site that you can check out for more questions.
After 20 years working with businesses, we understand the gravity of this topic, but we do more than understand - we put the resources behind it to ensure our customers can rest easy.
With Exchange Online, you can create e-mail aliases (for example email@example.com) using the public groups feature without expending a license. You can then determine who in your organizations can access e-mail to these aliases.
You also have the option of creating a shared mailbox for the alias, so that any employee could respond as firstname.lastname@example.org. This approach requires a bit more legwork (running a few commands in Remote PowerShell).
Yes. You will be able to easily add your custom domain and use it for your Office 365 e-mail and/or public web site.
Keep your questions coming, and we will keep answering them!
@Willie, that is a tad harsh. First, OLSB will continue to run until at least the end of 2011. The current BPOS (now renamed Office 365) offering receives updates on a fairly regular basis, I believe it averages about every 3 months or so. Frankly most OLSB customers, I would say 80% of them don't use OLSB to its fullest either. That segment predominantly uses OLSB to host their website and branded email addresses. With Windows Live Wave 4 just released, I would bet that Live Groups, SkyDrive and Office Web Apps provides all the collaboration a microbusiness needs. Not sure you are aware, but Windows Live as a free service called Live Admin Center for managing/creating email address for a domain you own. So it is not out of the question that Microsoft may provide OLSB customers two conversion options when the time comes. One would be to convert to Office 365 for Small Businesses... and the other would be to convert OLSB email management to Live Admin Center. That still would leave the website. I agree that their should be a Public Facing Web only option for OLSB customers who currently get this for free. If they did that then 80% of OLSB customers wouldn't be affected much my this change. The other 20% like myself who have been begging for years to see various upgrades...well, I see alot of value with Office 365 for my business. $12/mo for the Office Pro Plus client in itself is a draw. So long as Microsoft looks at that conversion option I mentioned, I think most OLSB customers will be satisfied.
@Willie : personally (as a SharePoint Architect) I was stunned that OLSB didn't run on SharePoint already (seeing as it is becoming THE central platform for all things Microsoft) .. I don't think it will be going anywhere for a while .. especially not with 50%+ annual growth as a product in its own right.
I actually have my own question ... will the public facing website still be crippled in the same way that OLSB was (in that I can't upload custom CSS / Master Pages / Page Layouts?)
Will I have access to the Master Page & Page Layouts Gallery in SharePoint Online websites? Can I modify the AlternateCssUrl property for the Website site collection?
Is there any support for Public Folders in the exchange enviornment? Our company is looking at a few hosted exchange solutions but we rely heavily on public folders for content management.
Q1) SharePoint Online - Will you be able to customise? (i.e Install Web Parts, Create Custom Web Parts)
Q2) If so, will you still need 5,000+ users for a dedicated solution?
Q3) Will you be able to intergrate Linq Online with an "on-site" SharePoint Farm?
How does 365 work with Business Contact Manager 2007/2010...or does it?
I need to know more about SharePoint services for education. How does it provide collaboration and eLearning management between faculty and student s and between students working as groups?
Also after encountering K-12 education prospects, what they were concerned about is what protection under ***, COPPA, etc there are for these young kids so they can mainly communicate within the school community as opposed to the internet at large and say go chat with some stranger and we all know that story too well and where it leads. Their requests hovered around capabilities to restrict student communications to only within the school community, how can we achieve this kinf of control on th students LiveID accounts (of course higher education can do without such restrictions but the option to enable or disable such capabilities is what these schools are looking for)?
こんにちは。 "Office 365" って何でしょう ? Office 360 ではありません。Office 375 (ハーフ ボトル) でもありませんので、ご注意を。。。 情報の早い方は、既に マイクロソフトのプレスリリース抄訳
As per the information on page-2 of the Office 365 for Small Business Fact Sheet located here: office365.microsoft.com/.../Office365FactSheet.docx, this level is suitable for organizations with 1-25 users.
Does this mean an independent consultant or sole proprietor sign up as just one (1) user by paying $6/month?
If you take a look at the video demos of the SharePoint features on the Microsoft Education Test Drive website you will find education specific UI, forms, etc. Are these coming over to the education front or do developers have to come up with these themselves? Check it out at www.microsoft.com/.../default.aspx HigherEducation
Also what sort of user roles will be available in the education front (faculty, staff, kiosk, students, etc) and are we able to create custom roles and assign them access/permissions to resources, sites, forms, etc? Any education specific templates? What is the full education story so developers/ISVs know where they fit in?
Great stuff. My question is if I sell bpos today will the price be the old one that the customers pay for bpos or will it be the cheaper one after they upgrade to office365?
I also think that Microsoft should be more clear and specific with release dates. 2011 is solong, give us atleast what month it will be released. I'm also dissapointed that Microsoft dont give the beta to Sweden. Steve Ballmer was here this month and spoke how important we in Sweden were to Microsoft and that we were a perfect country for testing new software. But we dont have the beta of neither office365 or intune.
When the Beta finishes which countries will be supported for the full product Public release?
I am particularly interested in Australia and Indonesia.
Also, if you are signed up in a supported country, but happen to be travelling to an un-supported one will the cloud services still work?
Noting your QA #9 above, we have many general purpose mailboxes required for sending, receiving or both. I was told that using a Powershell script, we would be able to enable "Send As" permissions to a similarly named UDG (aka DL) to provide a user to Send using that address (e.g. Benefits@Home.microsoftonline.com). Can you confirm this?
Communicating with customers is very important to my company. All our customers use some kind of IM. Will Lync Online in Office 365 include Public Instant Messaging Connectivity? Will Lync Online allow for communication with Lync Onilne users from other companies?
Does Office 365 allow for communication with outside applications, like the Cisco Unified Communications Platforms?