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Microsoft Office 365 to put productivity on the cloud

Microsoft unveils details of cloud-based productivity service due for launch next year

Office 365 will be available from next year.
Office 365 will be available from next year.

Microsoft has announced its plans to deliver office productivity in the cloud, through its Office 365 service.

Office 365, which will start becoming available next year, will bring together Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online into one cloud-based offering.

The service will be available for a range of devices, with different offerings for SMBs and enterprise customers.

For SMBs with less than 25 employees, Microsoft plans to offer Office Web Apps, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Lync Online for just AED 22 per user, per month, along with an external website for the company, which can all be set up in 15 minutes. For larger organisations, including the government sector, Microsoft will offer a range of services from basic email for AED 7 per user, per month, up to Office Professional Plus with e-mail, voicemail, enterprise social networking, instant messaging, Web portals, extranets, voice conferencing and video conferencing, web conferencing, 24x7 phone support and on-premises licenses for AED 88 per user per month.

The service will be expanded to also offer Microsoft Dynamics CRM online, and an education version of the service, for students, is also planned.

Microsoft said that the service will build on the company's range of cloud experience in offering the first browser-based e-mail up to today's Business Productivity Online Suite, Microsoft Office Live Small Business and Live@edu.

"Office 365 is the best of everything we know about productivity, all in a single cloud service," said Yasir Khokhar, Information Worker Business Group lead, Microsoft Gulf. "With Office 365, your local bakery can get enterprise-caliber software and services for the first time, while a multinational pharmaceutical company can reduce costs and more easily stay current with the latest innovations. People can focus on their business, while we and our partners take care of the technology."

The service will be launched worldwide next year across 40 countries and regions.

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