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A few months ago, Microsoft first introduced a service that we think delivers the best of the cloud, working with the Office applications people already know and trust. It's called Office 365, and it brings together all of the familiar and powerful Microsoft productivity tools in a single cloud service. Today, we’re announcing a public beta of Office 365, enabling people in 38 markets to utilize Office, SharePoint, Exchange, and Lync as a cloud service.
Cloud computing is gaining mindshare fast. Companies of all sizes are using the cloud to deliver the latest applications and services, and they're seeing how cloud services can give them a competitive advantage while minimizing routine maintenance like patching, updating, and upgrading, and the upfront costs of traditional on-premises infrastructure. Cloud services can combine that convenience and affordability with powerful functionality and ease of use.
What does Office 365 offer?With Office 365, you get the familiar Office desktop experience integrated with the cloud-based versions of our next-generation communications and collaboration services. The on-demand infrastructure gives people freedom to work untethered from the corporate network, and saves IT departments a lot of time and money. With Office 365, businesses can cost-effectively experience Office applications at their best, with the power of our popular server products lighting them up.
Here’s what I think is awesome about Office 365:
Of course, it doesn't really matter what I think. Fortunately, our customers are giving us great feedback. I love hearing stories about how Office 365 is helping customers of all sizes. Some of my favorite examples include how small companies are taking advantage of it to be more productive without needing the infrastructure of a big company. Instead of using an expensive video-conferencing system, physicians from Dallas Neurosurgical consult with colleagues in other states through Lync Online. I’d feel even more confident about the decisions my doctors were making if I knew they could share an opinion with other experts so easily.
We’re just scratching the surface of what organizations can do with Office 365. The new Office 365 Marketplace already has 100 apps and 400 services for Office 365. Could this be the future platform for running your business? Give it a try with our beta, to find out.
If you like what you see, we'd love to hear about it. As part of the “Office 365: Ready for Work Contest,” we’re inviting small businesses around the world to share their stories on our Facebook page. Winners will receive Office 365, $50,000 in advertising and business services, and a Microsoft executive working for them for a day. Who knows, maybe I’ll show up at your business soon.
If you see me, put me to work!
--Takeshi Numoto, Corporate Vice President, Office