All the top tech companies are trying their hand at cloud computing these days. Most of the offerings have been lukewarm at best. Microsoft is hoping to turn that around with their Microsoft Office 365 service.
The marketing for Office 365 states that using the program gives users the ability to work anywhere on almost any kind of device. The idea is that subscribers can access all their email, contacts, calendars and documents regardless of the device. The product can be used by anyone but has really been designed for small to midsized businesses. In the modern world, the ability to telecommute or work from home is a cost savings to companies. One of the reasons this type of work schedule doesn’t work is the security and accessibility problems associated with giving employees access to company files remotely. Cloud computing has the potential to be the answer to this problem and Microsoft Office 365 is promising both security and easy access to data.
Some of the problems with previous cloud computing programs is that users did not find the services to be dependable. Previous offerings by Microsoft did not take off and the company is looking for something that can compete with the Google Apps. This time around, Office 365 went through a nine month beta process to work out the kinks and fine tune the product. The company hopes that Office 365 will be a replacement for it’s previous Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) including the utilization of the Exchange and Sharepoint servers.
Whether you are working on a PC, Mac, iPhone, Android mobile, Blackberry smartphone, Symbian phone, Windows Mobile or Phone, or some combination of the above – Microsoft Office 365 is the bridge that connects your data on all these devices. 365 sports the Microsoft Forefront Online Protection which offers protection from span, viruses and firewall issues.
One of the biggest benefits to Office 365 is the cost. There are a variety of options to choose from including an email only version as low as $2 per month. A small to midsized company using the service as it was intended can expect to pay as little as $6 a month.
Microsoft is really playing up the Office 356 email, scheduling and security capabilities. However, the service has additional bonuses including the ability for multiple users to work together and edit documents in real time from remote locations. It has been designed to work across platforms so Lynx, Office, Sharepoint and Exchange users could team up and create something fantastic.