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Microsoft launches 365 into the Cloud

Microsoft launched its new cloud-based offering in a bid to compete with Google. Office 365 does exactly what it says on the tin: it is the Office suite located in the cloud (plus your email, too). It is designed to be accessible via a variety of devices from the humble PC to the more exotic array of smartphones.

The pricing model adjusts the cost according to the size of organisation; the higher cost for the larger enterprise reflects a more comprehensive offering. However, this ‘pay as you go’ is seen as something of a gamble as a significant proportion of Microsoft’s revenue has traditionally come from selling the Office suite to be installed on a local PC. The need to compete in the cloud sphere shows that Microsoft recognise the new IT landscape of having to eke out every last piece of value from dwindling budgets. However, Jeff Mann, a VP of research at analyst group Gartner, succinctly describes Microsoft’s punt:

It’s definitely a very big bet.

Potential customers need to make some strategic decisions: is the cost saving worth the inevitable compromises that will be made regarding functionality and flexibilty? What about the standardised environment? Will integration with non-Microsoft products be painless? In terms of the cost savings, there is a huge scope for cutting costs particularly if you have a transient, diffuse workforce. Rather than having to pay for full licencing on the Office suite, paying per worker per month has got to be a compelling narrative to sell to your Finance Director. And you can add to that service level agreements that are now located outside your business.
It’s still not clear what the outcome will be but I’ll be watching closely.

Read the BBC article, here.

Categories: Cloud, Microsoft, News
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