Here’s a heads up on something that has just happened this evening.
Microsoft’s Office 365 product has come out of beta and pricing has been released. In a nutshell:
- Single users and small businesses can buy up to 25 accounts at $6 per user per month,
- Medium businesses and enterprises can purchase accounts for between $10 to $27 a month.
Basically, you get access to a 25GB mailbox via “Exchange Online” as well as access to Office Web Apps to view and perform basic editing on both your Windows computers and mobile devices. You also get access to “SharePoint Online” where you can store and share your documents as well as being able to create a public website. To round out the communications side of things you also get access to “Lync Online” which provides instant messaging, online meetings, PC to PC audio and video calls and desktop sharing capabilities.
This is Microsoft’s comprehensive response to Google Apps (which includes things like Google Mail and Google Docs) and, whilst you have to pay $6 a month at the cheapest price point, you do have access to industry standard software online that will work with the many documents, spreadsheets, slideshows and notes you have already created with Microsoft Office applications.
I’m hoping to have a play with the trial version of the software to give it a proper go. It’d also be interesting to see how well this service integrates with Windows Phone 7 particularly after the forthcoming Mango update (although I don’t have a device but we’ll see what happens).