Microsoft builds a Cloud City with Office 365

Posted by TRENT NOUVEAU

Microsoft has announced its Office 365 platform, which integrates SharePoint, Exchange, Lync and Office into a single dynamic cloud service.

The platform allows users to work seamlessly across multiple devices, while optimizing collaborative efforts in a simple, yet highly secure fashion.

"Moving to the cloud with Office 365 means people don’t have to change the way they work, because [the suite] works with the most popular browsers, smartphones and desktop applications people use today," explained Microsoft Office president Kurt DelBene.

"[For example], with Office 365, your local bakery can get enterprise-caliber software and services for the first time, while a multinational pharmaceutical company can reduce costs and more easily stay current with the latest innovations. People can focus on their business, while we and our partners take care of the technology."

According to DelBene, small businesses, professionals and small companies with fewer than 25 employees can be up and running with O365 in just 15 minutes, for $6 or 5.25 euros per user, per month.

Meanwhile, Office 365 for enterprises - which introduces an array of choices for midsize and large businesses - starts at $2 or 1.75 euros per user, per month for basic e-mail.

O365 for enterprises also offers the option to use Office Professional Plus desktop software on a pay-as-you-go basis.

So, when will the platform be available?

Well, although Office 365 is slated to hit the cloud next year, MS will begin beta testing it with a few thousand businesses and organizations over the next few months. 

Beta applications can be accessed and submitted here.