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Microsoft on Tuesday rebranded its clumsily named Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), added Office to the mix and took the wraps off a new cloud apps bundle called Office 365.
Microsoft Office 365 includes Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online and comes in small business- and enterprise-focused versions. Microsoft is now offering Office 365 as a limited beta in 13 countries and regions and plans to launch it worldwide in 2011.
At an event in downtown San Francisco, Kurt DelBene, newly appointed president of the Microsoft Office Division, said the elastic IT capacity of cloud computing make it possible to reach customers large and small. With Office 365, Microsoft is trying to address the full range of market segments.
Microsoft's Office 365 for small businesses is aimed at companies with up to 25 employees and costs $6 per user monthly. In addition to Office Web Apps, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Lync Online, companies also get an external-facing Website.
Although Exchange and Office are widely used in the small business space, products like Sharepoint and Lync have yet to reach this segment. Chris Capossela, senior vice president for the Information Worker Product Management Group, says Office 365 will give smaller customers a chance to kick the tires on these products.
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