Microsoft spokespeople have been coy about when the Office 365 cloud service will launch, saying only that it will come out later in 2011. But CEO Steve Ballmer has revealed that it will launch in June.
Speaking in Delhi, India, to an industry group last week, Ballmer said, "We're pushing hard in the productivity space. We'll launch our Office 365 cloud service, which gives you Lync and Exchange and SharePoint and Office and more as a subscribable service that comes from the cloud. That launches in the month of June."
The cloud service will replace the current Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), and include access to Exchange, SharePoint, the Lync unified communications suite, and both desktop and Web-based versions of Office tools such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The Office 365 beta has attracted more than 100,000 customers, and was recently expanded to become a public beta available to anyone.
Whoa, now. It seems like Microsoft is finally ready to get the good folks that their Office products to learn how the Cloud can help them. Don't be afraid of the Cloud, gang. We use it every day. I'm using the Cloud to write this post. Ahhh!!
I don't know about you, but I prefer to write documents via web browser, or to a lesser extent, a service that syncs automatically with Dropbox in order to store my files safely. Using Word is great and all, but if that HDD explodes while you're writing the best blog post ever, it's as good as toast. Apps like PlainText and Elements save while you're typing to the Dropbox folder of your choice. Late or not, Microsoft seems to be getting the idea with this instant-save business. The less the user has to worry about backing things up, the better.
Microsoft has promised to deliver big news Tuesday regarding its Windows Phone 7 smartphone platform, and the company will be kicking things off at 10 a.m. in TriBeCa in New York City. But WP7 has had a rocky start so far. Can Microsoft really deliver?
Microsoft first introduced WP7 in February 2010. The platform officially launched worldwide in October 2010. The first crop of devices was very good, but not quite a match for the headlining Android smartphones available from most carriers. It didn't help that WP7 only launched on AT&T and T-Mobile at first. Sprint didn't pick up any WP7 handsets until earlier this year, and Verizon is releasing its first WP7 smartphone this week.
We all love some Windows Phone here at Trigon. Heck, we even have one engineer with one! Sure, the rest have iPhones, but you get the idea.
Windows Phone is revolutionary in that it didn't follow the design principals of the iPhone OS, much like Android has. It's completely different, built from the ground up. It had its beginnings with the Zune OS, and has blossomed into something much more. However, that's not to say the Phone hasn't seen some hardships. Whether it be carrier support, or lack thereof, the launch has been rocky with only spacial updates.
It could be that Microsoft underestimated how things would go when you have to push updates to no less than 10 phones that are on different carriers. Apple has done well with their fleet of phones, one a year, and updates go out quite smoothly.
The above linked article goes onto list some items that they hope to have in the next version of the OS, like pinned emails, better IT admin controls, and possibly phones from Nokia. The more phone manufacturers Windows partners with, the more trouble it would spell for smoothly rolled out updates.
We at Trigon would love to see Windows Phone succeed, because in the end, a Microsoft Phone product is going to be the easiest to maintain in the enterprise. Hopefully.
This article originally appeared on Technorati.
This is my next:
Skype will be made into a new business division at Microsoft, with Skype CEO Tony Bates taking on the role of President of the Microsoft Skype Division, reporting to Steve Ballmer directly.
Together they’ll be building Skype support into Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone, and of course Windows, with new compatibilities for Microsoft’s Lync, Outlook, and Xbox Live users to chat with Skypeland. Interestingly, there’s no mention of Windows Live Messenger in the press release, so Microsoft might be folding that into this “Skype” of the future (which would make sense). And a sigh of relief for existing Skype users: Microsoft promises to “invest in and support” Skype on non-Microsoft platforms.
Folks, I don’t want to alarm you. But I have to; Microsoft has purchased Skype for $8.5b.
Even worse, the original numbers hovered around $7b, but what’s nearly $2b between friends?
Skype has been a noted company that cannot make money year over year, and was even tossed around between eBay previously. Sort of like an old shirt that gets passed around at Christmas time. Nobody liked that shirt, grandma.
The real question is what is Microsoft thinking? Do they consider FaceTime that much of a threat in the mobile and no desktop space? What about the Video Conferencing software that MS has released in recent years? Is this the end of Messenger? (I hope so)
The cool thing about this purchase, to me, is that Skype should be coming to the 360 soon. I have relatives with laptops and webcams that I Skype with on my iPhone, but it would be nice to be able to integrate with the 360, too. No longer will we be stunk with some terribly designed Windows software.
So what’s Microsoft’s endgame? They now have a reliable VOIP service with hundreds of millions of users, software on just about every major phone and mobile OS, and a built-in user base on the desktop.
Whether it was worth nearly $10b remains to be seen.