After a few months of limited access, Microsoft have opened up the Office 365 beta on a global basis. Office 365 is the successor to Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), Office Live Small Business, and Live@edu.
Office 365 is a cloud offering delivering a bundle of the latest versions of Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Lync, and Microsoft Office via the Internet. And as I reported last year, Microsoft have dramatically reduced pricing on their cloud offerings compared with the point they started at. It is understood that Office 365 pricing will be even more compelling that current BPOS pricing in most cases.
Monthly subscription prices will start at US$6 per user with local pricing varying by region (app $9 is anticipated starting point in NZ). Expect higher pricing for more advanced versions - some of which include the full version of Microsoft Office for local installation on your PC. It is also likely there will be a small discount available for charitable/not-for-profit organisations.
In initial testing I have been extremely impressed with Office 365 - a dramatic difference to other online suites such as Google Apps. I'll feed back more as I put it through it paces a little more.
You can sign up for the beta here, follow @Office365NZ on Twitter and check Office365NZ.com for New Zealand specific news about Office 365.
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