Cloud Computing: Microsoft Launches Office 365, a New Google Competitor
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer hosted the launch of Office 365 in New York City.
"We believe effective collaboration is a lot more than good group dynamics," Ballmer told the audience. "Its instant access to relevant information ... and the right people taking the right action at the right time."
Microsofts presentation made a point of targeting SMBs as a potential audience for Office 365. According to analysts, Google Apps is particularly popular among smaller organizations, which makes that segment a target if Microsoft wants to blunt Googles momentum in the space.??Ã
Office 365 combines Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online into a platform that costs between $2 and $27 per month.
Microsoft is also emphasizing Office 365s interoperability with mobile devices. Data from Windows Phones, for example, can be seamlessly ported to a laptop running the cloud-based version of Office.
There also is colleague collaboration via Outlook.
Video conferencing and collaboration is another focus of the platform. It remains to be seen how Microsofts recent Skype acquisition will affect these features.
Here is Office 365s dashboard for IT administrators.
Multiple employees can use Office 365 to co-author a document.
Here is the online version of Office. The question here is whether the Web-based versions features will be close enough to parity with the desktop version to draw in users.
Office Web Apps
Here are Office Web Apps running in Microsoft Office 365.
Office 365 also offers features such as video editing.