Office 365: Office hosted in the Cloud

Microsoft Office 365 is a cloud solution offered by Microsoft that let you use hosted Office. The main difference between the popular Office is that this solution is hosted in the cloud and taking the best benefits of the cloud computing technology.

Office 365

Additionally, Office 365 is simple to administer and you get up and running and start adding users in minutes. It adds more power to the Office you already know and use by making it easier to communicate and collaborate with others.

Some of the key features available in Office 365 are:

  • Email and calendars. You can access your email and calendar from your computer, the web, and smart device including Windows Phone 7 and other smartphones.
  • Website. Launch and sustain a professional website for your business.
  • Instant messaging, presence, and conferencing. Connect immediately with colleagues and set up and conduct online meetings and conferences online.
  • File sharing and managing projects. Share documents and collaborate with colleagues online like using cloud storage tools.
  • Office Web Apps. Create, store, and edit Office docs online including PowerPoint documents, Word documents and Excel spreadsheets.
  • Mobility. Get virtually anywhere access on nearly any device so you can be productive on the go.
  • Security and trust. Microsoft helps keep your data safe and private.
  • Easy to set up and use. Get started in minutes and setup new users in seconds.
  • No training needed. Use Office tools your team knows and loves.
  • Work anywhere. Get virtually anywhere-access on nearly any device and work on your Office files online or offline.
  • Worry-Free IT. Stay safe with our built-in anti-virus and spam fighting technology, and you don’t need an IT department or call the IT guy to get support. The uptime is 99.9% and you can lower costs vs. on-site solutions.

There are some weird information news like this one that states that Microsoft paid customer 250.000 to adopt Office 365.

The University of Nebraska is mothballing its aging IBM Lotus Notes email and calendaring system in favor of Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud platform for a number of reasons, including access to newer technology, greater flexibility, and operational savings.

And one other big reason–the university will receive $250,000 in givebacks from Microsoft to underwrite the switch under a little-known program Redmond calls Business Incentive Funds.

The university said the move from Notes to Office 365 will cut its annual email operating costs by about 50%, from $1 million to $500,000. Add in the $250,000 in funds from Microsoft and the deal looks even better.

[…]

The University of Nebraska’s package is the latest sign that Microsoft is willing to use its financial clout, and sacrifice margins, to edge Google out of key accounts. It’s also a measure of how important the company views the emerging cloud market. Though Microsoft still makes the vast majority of its revenues and profits from the sale of conventional desktop and server software, it does not want to fall behind the curve in cloud the same way it was caught napping when other new tech markets, such as mobile computing and search, suddenly took off.

In terms of actual sticker prices, it’s difficult to compare Office 365 and Google Apps. Google offers a business package that starts at $5 per user, per month and includes access to standard email and productivity tools plus enterprise class security features like Postini. Microsoft offers a broad range of pricing packages for Office 365, from $2 per user, per month for basic email, to $27 per user, per month for a full range of software and support, including the full, client version of Office, Office Web Apps, and technical support.

You can get a free trial (download Office 365 Free Trial here)

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