An Inside Look at Cloud-Based Microsoft Office 365 Our columnist gets the skinny on on Microsoft's 'cloudification' of software and what it could mean for your business.
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Microsoft is not taking its move into cloud computing lightly. Office 365--the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant's formal entry into the cloud market--provides web-based versions of Microsoft Office software classics like Word, Excel and PowerPoint, along with other tools, for a flat monthly fee starting at $6 per user, per month. Office 365 has been in development for several years, and the stakes for the company--and for the more than 750 million Microsoft users worldwide--are high.
We caught up with John Betz, Microsoft's director of online services, to get the skinny on what web-based computing will mean to Microsoft--and to the businesses using it.
What is the current state of Microsoft's "cloudification' of small-business software?
As a company we are fully committed to cloud computing. We started out as an enterprise software provider, and with coming to the cloud, we see success there as well. We began with a few thousand businesses in our original beta starting last October. We now have more than 200,000 users, 70 percent of which are in a small business.