Microsoft Unveils Subscription Version of Office

Microsoft is no stranger to offering services via the cloud, but Office 365 represents a rebranding of the company's BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite) that suggests the Redmond-based company is determined to make its cloud-based services a big success. Previously, the company offered

SharePoint, Lync Online, Exchange, and Office web apps; now they're rolling everything into one, adding the latest version of the Microsoft Office desktop suite, and calling it Office 365.

CNet's Ina Fried writes that very small businesses (under 25 employees) can look forward to prices as low as $6 per user per month, but clarifies that this version includes only the Web-based version of Office. Larger companies will have a range of options, starting with $2 per month for just hosted e-mail, and going as high as $27 per user per month for the most full-featured option, which includes the full Office Pro Plus desktop suite in addition to Sharepoint, Exchange, communications server tools and the online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more.

Availability is scheduled for sometime in 2011. Unfortunately, Microsoft wasn't willing to divulge any more information than that when it came to a release date. However, they company has opened up a limited beta for people who can't wait until next year to try it. The first round of beta testing will only have spots for 2,000 organizations and it's done on a first come, first served basis. Register your interest here.

Read more about Office365 on Microsoft's brand new Office365 blog or check out the demo video below for more on the features of Office 365.

Source: CNet, TechCrunch, Office365

  • Nesto1000
    Today office is in over a billion PC's around the world.

    Geez, imagine how many pirate installs there are... O.o
  • reprotected is $0 per month. What do you have to say for that Office365? That their non-existent subscription is not really free?
  • Simple11
    Because OO it's not business friendly remember lol
  • ta152h
    Another bad excuse for Microsoft to milk people.

    I don't envy them, Office has had all the features almost everyone needed for over a decade. The same with Windows. But they have to keep making money, so they have to come out with new releases or stuff like this to keep their stockholders happy.

    Microsoft would love to milk people every month, instead of trying to convince them their newest version is worth buying (because it invariably isn't anymore). So, this would be ideal for them, but I don't think people will go for it. As much as Microsoft would love to get people used to paying them every month, customers resist this.

    I don't envy Microsoft's position. They have to do goofy stuff like this, which is transparent and embarrassing. It's one thing to compete against another company, it's another to compete against older stuff that already does what people want. It's a bad situation, but this isn't the answer consumers are looking for.

    Their fear of OpenOffice has been showing lately too. I think it will keep gaining traction, and once it gains critical mass, Office is going to have to come down in price. Microsoft should just lower their prices and preempt it, but they won't.
  • doyletdude is $0 per month. What do you have to say for that Office365? That their non-existent subscription is not really free?
    Not saying i agree with Microsoft but technically yes, they did already claim that LOL,11471.html
  • LuckyDucky7
    Microsoft Office isn't under fire from OpenOffice.

    If you want a free-quality program, you go with OpenOffice.
    If you want a paid-quality program, you go with Microsoft Office.

    The comparisons are non-existent. There is no Microsoft OneNote equivalent. There is no spell-checking system like the one Office has, and no Ribbon like Office has (again, OneNote).

    There is also no intergral equation editor in OpenOffice (by which I mean I can't create equations by ink or put equations in quickly to a document I'm creating.

    There are no integrated online backups with OpenOffice, either.

    And, have fun with FontWorks! That interface is still extremely clunky.

    You see what you can get for free, and then you see what you can get for a few bucks.

    Myself, I wouldn't trust OpenOffice (or Linux for that matter, but that's a different story) with my most critical data-taking applications.

    You get what you paid for.
    OpenOffice is less than stellar- but it is free.

    But, back on topic:

    Six dollars per user is too much to pay for Microsoft Office.
    For example, in a "business" with about 50 employees and 25 computers with Office on it, that's 300 dollars per month. in less than a year, I've spent more than I paid to own 25 copies of REAL Office 2010, and not the web-based version.
    In one year, I've potentially spent more than the Software Assurance would have cost my business to go to Office 15 (whenever that is).

    We too considered OpenOffice/StarOffice, but that didn't work- because Office 2010 is better (and it was time for an upgrade from Office XP, and not a cross-grade to OpenOffice 3.1.)

    I too will refuse Microsoft Office when it becomes a terrible deal, but until then, it is still indisputably better.

    And one final thing: Do you wonder why they changed the name to Office 365 from "BPOS"? Do you wonder how that acronym would go over?
  • dEAne
    I give it a try.
  • iamtheking123
    I think MS has to be getting desperate by now with their Office department. I'm still running Office XP because:

    a) 2007+ doesn't have any new features that make a difference and
    b) I think the ribbon is the worst UI concept ever conceived and is a stunt to convince "new must mean better" kool-aid drinkers to upgrade.

    I also don't use online document storage like Google Docs or Office360whatever because I don't have guaranteed 24/7 access to the internet, and I don't trust something I don't have under my direct control.
  • if you are a power user then ms office is the way to go but some people don't use it heavily so open office is okay. i am a systems admin and our company cannot afford to buy everyone an ms office. so to those who doesn't need features from ms office i let them use open office and provide some support until they are used to it. it works for them as long as they are get used to it.
  • kingssman nuff said