HANNOVER, Germany -- Microsoft Germany, making its first news announcement on the eve of CeBIT 2009, said March 2 that it has launched a set of its existing online business services as two new cloud computing- type packages: a new Business Productivity Online Suite and another called Deskless Worker Suite.
The two new software packages will become available later in Q2 in the U.S. and in 19 other countries, including Germany.
The BPOS services consists of Microsoft Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Communications Online, and Office Live Meeting.
The Deskless Worker Suite is designed for workers who don't spend most of their time in front of a computer, and who are out making sales calls, conducting business meetings, or traveling. The suite consists of a hosted version of Exchange Online Deskless Worker and SharePoint Online Deskless Worker.
Designed for simultaneous use in both cloud computing and regular workplace environments, Microsoft said it now regards Internet services and local applications as a single unit.
"The Business Productivity Online Services offering is designated for companies seeking enterprise quality software delivered as a service," Microsoft spokesman Steven Lombardi told eWEEK. "The package is not simply a bundling of existing services - they are hosted versions of Microsoft's communication and collaboration technology and a new offering altogether.
"Since they are services, they are continually updated. Also, there isn't yet feature parity between the hosted versions and the servers - Microsoft is still working towards that," Lombardi said.
More than 90 percent of the world's business computers already use some version of the Windows operating systems and only slightly fewer using Microsoft Office as a business suite, so Microsoft is in the inside lane for evolving daily business processes to the cloud computing model.