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Microsoft puts Office into the cloud

Simon Quicke

The death knell for on-premise versions of Office has been sounded a little bit louder after Microsoft announced the software suite would be made available in the cloud from next year.

Office365 is a package including SharePoint, Lync, Exchange and Office 2010 which will be based in the cloud and should cost companies between 10 to 50% less than the current outlay on on-premise licenses.

Earlier this month the vendor used its partner conference to outline the importance of the cloud and UK channel executives have been consistent in their warnings that the growth is coming from the hosted model and not from on-premise.

Kurt DelBene, Microsoft Office division president, said that customers would be able to afford more functionality because of the flexibility the cloud offered.

"For the past decade, we've designed and built our technology to work together. But the reality is that few customers have the resources to deploy Office, SharePoint, Exchange and Lync together. With the cloud, we can bring technology together for customers, in a way they have never experienced," he said.

In the statement accompanying the announcement Microsoft highlighted the savings compared to traditional licenses: "It's not realistic for a small company to acquire these resources on its own, but delivered at scale, customers can get these solutions at a dramatically lower cost - saving 10-50% over comparable alternatives."

But he still talked about delivering applications in various ways backing up the software plus services message that the vendor has stuck to throughout the last couple of years.

"Moving forward, we will continue to deliver customers the best productivity experience in the cloud, on-premises or through any combination in between," he said.


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