Microsoft recently announced Office 365 has gone to beta testing. If you are hearing about it for the first time, Office 365 is Microsoft’s next step in evolving toward cloud-based products and services. At its core are the cloud versions of flagship products SharePoint and Exchange. Also included is Lync, the new brand for Office Communication Server and Live Meeting. None of these products are new to the cloud – they have been offered via Microsoft Online Services for the last two years as the Business Productivity Online Suite or BPOS. bluLink has used BPOS since the beginning, and we’ve been very pleased with the offering and SLA.
Part of the excitement with Office 365 is the upgrade of each server to the 2010 version. It’s no surprise we are most excited about the enhancements SharePoint 2010 brings to the cloud, but there are some great new capabilities rolling out with Exchange 2010 Online and Lync.
Rounding out the Office 365 offering is something new: Office Web Apps. Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote will soon have an online version that will let you work with documents directly in the browser, and tightly integrate with SharePoint 2010.
Even though the official release date is not set, Microsoft forecasts general availability of Office 365 in 2011. Beta 1 is underway, and we are talking with partners and customers about planning and adoption strategies now.
I’ll be bringing more news and technical deep dives in upcoming blog entries.
To learn more, visit http://office365.microsoft.com.