This morning Microsoft Office 365 officially launched in New Zealand and overnight around the world in 40 countries. Interestingly this new online productivity and collaboration suite actually slipped out online ahead of the official launch and users were able to sign up before even the US launch had taken place overnight.
The New Zealand launch saw Microsoft NZ's Managing Director, Paul Muckleston present to the crowd of press, partners and customers.
Assisting Paul Muckleston with the launch and Office 365 demos were Paul Quirk (Solutions Specialist) and Dirk Develter (Online Services Specialist) from Microsoft NZ.
Office 365 pits Microsoft directly against Google in the cloud based email and office productivity sector. Google have made inroads into start-ups and businesses with their Google Apps for Business offering. However with Microsoft owning over 90% of the office productivity sector (with Microsoft Office) it's likely the large majority who move to the cloud will continue with a Microsoft solution in the future.
New Zealand pricing for small to medium business customers starts at NZ$9.25/user. There is no minimum number of users so even home users can sign up for the service.
It was mentioned during the launch that Microsoft datacentre's now contain over 1,000,000 servers spread in various new locations globally. Datacentre's delivering the Office 365 service to NZ customers are based in Singapore and Hong Kong. Microsoft's investment in building new datacentres has apparently reached some $2 Billlion.
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