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Microsoft Office 365 puts full-power Office, Exchange on web

updated 01:35 pm EDT, Tue October 19, 2010

Microsoft Office 365 cloud service arrives

Microsoft's cloud app efforts grew more serious today with a launch for Office 365. The service gives web access to a full-strength version of Office on the web, including simultaneous collaboration, as well as online versions of Exchange, Lync and SharePoint. The platform is OS-independent and will even work on smartphones and tablets.

The approach has a per-person subscription cost but is pitched as ideal for companies where remote access is common or where deploying physical copies of Office and server apps across a network would be laborious. Since all updates happen on the web, everyone gets the same version immediately.

Beta testing for 365 starts today with a few thousand companies and should become a finished service in 2011. Pricing starts at $6 per person per month for individuals or any company with less than 25 workers, but larger companies get more options. Companies can move to as little as $2 per person for just e-mail and scale up to $24 per person for the full Office Professional Plus suite, complete with basic video editing, as well as dedicated support, social networking components, AV conferencing and special on-site licenses.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: Jan 2008



    With the plethora of free web-based productivity suites as well as pay-once smartphone apps, one could wonder if the average customer will accept having a "cable bill" showing up every month for their office suite. Then again, if indeed only $6/month for the whole suite (& we know the devil is always in the detail w/ Microsoft), then the cumulative cost will take 2-3 years before exceeding a one-time licensed software purchase (less the online accessibility too).


  1. chas_m



    Credit Where Its Due

    This is a rare example of MS not copying Apple and trying to think outside the (software) box.

    If they keep the price low I could see this being a hit with a certain segment. What they'll lose in immediate (and every 2-3 year cyclical) profit, they'll more than make up in lack of piracy, uniform updates and individual users for whom the full Office didn't justify the cost.

  1. peter02l

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2009



    You have been a staunch supporter and advocate for everything Microsoft in your corporate IT department for years. You keep up your certifications every two years. And now your compant will outsource your job to, ... Microsoft. "How does it feel, to be on your own, with no direction home, like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone?"

    In this economy!

    This should be a lesson for all IT guys to always look out for your employer and not for a tech company.

  1. ggirton

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999


    movie editing in the cloud

    i'll believe it when I see it.

  1. SierraDragon

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Mar 2004


    Sorry, no credit

    Let's not call this MS thinking "outside the box" except insofar as it is outside the MS box. Cloud computing has been a major topic for many years and others have had various apps including spreadsheets up for a while. If it works well Office via Cloud will be a nice product and I congratulate them, but hardly Microsoft's original thought.

    Still, $180/year/person for the lowest implementation is not cheap when so many office apps are available free.

  1. SwissMac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2006


    comment title

    Great. $288 per year ($24 x 12) to rent an Office package you can buy for less than half of that and use for years and years. No wonder Microsoft are falling behind. This model just isn't going to work. They might not be copying Apple for a change this time, but they are copying Google.

    Microsoft: the innovative monopoly who's main innovation is copying other companies' ideas. Badly.

  1. CarlRJ

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2010


    comment title

    I hear Microsoft has been dying for years to have a way to get people to "buy" Office as a subscription, mainly because if you rent it from them, they keep getting money. Certainly not trailblazing, although at least this time the path isn't *that* old, but they'd really like everyone to buy into this, because, you know, they like money.

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