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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 firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 email@example.com. 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!
@MSFT BPOS Partner: Microsoft partners provide unique value to customers such as IT and business consulting, deployment and migration, customization, and continue manage services such as support and IT management. These key unique value are crucial to customer and provides a complete solution.
@Marcelo: You can store documents through Sharepoint Online or with Office Web Apps. And yes you can migrate your domain to Office 365.
@Razvan: Only 1 seat required!
@Jake: Public folders will not be available. Our guidance to customers with public folders will be similar to what’s represented in today’s Migrate from Exchange Public Folders to BPOS whitepaper, though we will be updating this document based on new capabilities available in Sharepoint Online and Exchange Online in Office 365.
@Lorna: Right one, you are correct.
@Jimmy: Existing BPOS customers will be migrated to a equivalent offer in Office 365, not the $6 small business offer. So they will continue to pay the same $10/month that they paid previously.
@CP: I updated that question, I believe you are correct.
1) If I have Office 365, do I need Office desktop apps?
OK, so us Mac users wont get Office for Mac 2011 Home & Business thrown in. As you say this works best with local apps, but does that also include Lync? Will we be able to use Lync on Office 365 with Communicator for Mac 2011? If so, will you let us have that atleast? It wasnt shipped with Office for Mac 2011 Home & Business when it was released last week, and cant find it for download.
@Scott M: Communicator for Mac will not be suported by the Lync hosted services and only comes in the "standard" version available through volume licensing for use with an on premise server. Here is some more information on Communicator for Mac.
1. Some of my customers have multiples domains and some users have email alias from both domains (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com). Can I have two or more domains under one Office 365 account?
2. Office Live Meeting included a remote support tool, Easy Assist. Does Lync offer something similar?
Office 365 is looking good. Keep up with the good work...
Is there any chance that you could include licenses for Mac Office Outlook 2011 as an option?
Well, it's been two weeks since the announcement of Office 365 and the response is more than we could
@mat: We won't have liscenses for it as a part of Office Professional Plus, but Outlook for Mac 2011 will be supported.
How can I protect excel files with macros created by me, but at the same time allow other users to access and use the macro functionality for calculations with out being able to open the macros files ..?
Can I do a resource mailbox for scheduling conference room time? How is the resource scheduling done in the Exchange part of Office 365? Do we need a license for each resource?
I didn't hear the answer to two questions others have asked before..
1. How much data storage is available for share point?
2. How much customization is allowed?
At least 1st is important to know .. the second .. sure while you are at it ..
@joel Shafer: Office 365 enterprise services entitle each customer to 500MB storage for their My Site and a further 500MB per user (pooled storage) which means that the administrator has complete control of storage delegation. Each SharePoint Online tenancy receives an additional 10Gb storage. Office 365 for small business will not include My Sites – but they receive the same 500Mb per user and 10 GB base storage.
Will documents be able to be synced to your desktops? Yes, this is possible through SharePoint Workspace which is part of Office Professional Plus. Also, documents stored in the cloud can be opened and edited in the client apps, and saved back up to your SharePoint.
@lstevens: Of course! You will not need to have 5000 customers, these will be available to all customers.
@David: Office 365 will be available in all countries that get BPOS today, and we will be exanding as we get our datacenters setup in the currently non-covered regions.
@Don L: Lync Online is federated with Windows Live, so if you have email addresses you can chat. You can also Invite external contacts to easily join online meetings via a native or web-based client based on the options in Lync when you create a meeting. As for IM'ing with other Lync online customers, you will be able to quickly and easily. See the video in the "TechEd Europe" post on this blog.
@Saiba: I believe there are options in Excel for this, found on the Developer tab. Off the top of my head I believe there is a button to "Macro Security". Here is a forum I found through Bing search about the topic, it has the answers you need. www.pchelpforum.com/.../47359-password-protect-macros-excel.html
Will custom business applications developed in OLSB convert seamlessly and with no data loss to 365?
OLSB currently offers 5 users and 100 branded email accounts (for free). With 1 user in 365, how many email accounts can be attached to a domain name?
Currently our products support integration with Exchange and Office applications on premise and I wonder if we will be able to maintain the integration when our customers start to use Office 365, especially if they decide to start using Exchange just partially in cloud.
For Exchange integration we use EWS to create mail accounts and synchronize calendars (pooling notifications). An Exchange account with impersonation rights is used for both. Should that work in cloud?
Then for Office integration I have to ask first where is Office Web Apps data/documents are stored?
Is SharePoint needed to use all of the Office Web Apps features in Office 365?
I do understand that customization of UI is not allowed for Office Web Apps but I would like to use from within our products web services to retrieve documents list published to a “Office Web Apps Space”, I want to be able to retrieve the hyperlink for a document and then view the document in browser.
Is anything like that possible?
I am part owner and operationally engaged in multiple small businesses but the other participants are mostly distinct. If I use separate subscriptions to Office365 in each of these businesses, will I be able to participate in each using a single instance of Windows 7 and Office Professional Plus?
@Sanja: Office Pro Plus has the same bits as any regular version of Office, so you shouldn't have issues there. The Exchange one is more difficult to answer, ill have to do some diggin in order to get you an answer.
Office Web Apps docs are stored in SharePoint Online, and therefore you need SharePoint online for the Web Apps.
As for the integration, I would assume it is, although again, my programming skills only go so deep, so i'll have to dig.
@Douglas: Well first, you could have one subscription with multiple domains, one for each business. That would seem to me to make most sense, and yes, a single instance of Windows 7 and Office Pro Plus would work just fine. If you had multiple instances, you would have to log into each one in turn and not take advantage of federating your Online Services ID with your corporate credentials, so you would end up switching accounts and logging on/off a lot. You would probably only pay for one version of Office Pro Plus and your OS wouldn't be affected.