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

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

    Geez, imagine how many pirate installs there are... O.o
  • 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.
  • Other Comments
  • 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