This morning, Steve Ballmer announced that Office 365, which includes SharePoint Online, has been released worldwide for general availability today.
Office 365 is Microsoft’s newest offering in the cloud. It combines the Office application suite, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync. It improves and expands on the successful Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS).
Ballmer focused on the small and medium business segment as an important target market for Office 365, citing a statistic that segment of businesses are responsible for two-thirds of job growth.
The demo started with SharePoint Online and Office integration, showing off co-authoring in real time, so that changes one author makes to a Word document can be seen by another author as edits are being made. That demo also showed ubiquitous access and collaboration via Office Web Apps and the PC-based rich client.
Microsoft also demonstrated One Note with Windows 7, again showing how real-time collaboration is done with Office 365 cloud services. Microsoft indicated that iPhone and Android devices can also access Office 365.
Virtual conferencing with Lync was showcased with a demonstration of full audio-video conferencing with desktop collaboration on shared documents. Lync is the successor to LiveMeeting and Office Communicator.
Web site authoring for small businesses using predefined template and the Office Ribbon showed the ease of in-place editing, allowing users to edit their web site pages just like they would edit a Word document.
bluLink has run much of its own IT infrastructure on BPOS since 2009, employing a mix cloud services well as on-premise versions of SharePoint 2007 and SharePoint 2010. We’ve been working with Office 365 beta, and are in the process of migrating our infrastructure from BPOS to Office 365.
As a Microsoft Partner, bluLink helps small and medium companies adopt and capitalize upon business productivity solutions based on SharePoint and Office 365. A summary of our services can also be found on Pinpoint, a service directory of Microsoft Partners.
For more information on Office 365 visit http://office365.microsoft.com.