Microsoft Corp. has announced Microsoft Office 365, which brings together Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, and Lync Online in an always-up-to-date cloud service. With Office 365, people can work together from anywhere on virtually any device, while collaborating with others inside and outside their organization. As part of today's news, Microsoft is also opening a limited beta program for Office 365 in 13 countries and regions; it is expected to be available worldwide next year.
With Office 365 for small businesses, professionals and small companies with fewer than 25 employees can be up and running with Office Web Apps, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online and an external website in just 15 minutes, for $6 or 5.25 euros per user, per month.
Office 365 for enterprises introduces an array of choices for midsize and large businesses as well as government organizations, starting for as little as $2 or 1.75 euros per user, per month for basic email. Office 365 for enterprises also includes the option to get Microsoft Office Professional Plus desktop software on a pay-as-you-go basis, for the first time ever. For $24 or 22.75 euros per user, per month, organizations can get Office Professional Plus along with e-mail, voicemail, enterprise social networking, instant messaging, Web portals, extranets, voiceconferencing and videoconferencing, webconferencing, 24x7 phone support, on-premises licenses, and more.
Later next year, Microsoft says it will expand Office 365 to include Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. In addition, Office 365 for education is slated to debut later next year, giving students, faculty and school employees powerful technology tailored specifically to their needs.