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Office 365 Very Much Alive

Today is a big day in the Big Apple, as Steve Ballmer is personally announcing the release of Office 365.

This ain't news to Redmond magazine, which recently interviewed about a dozen Office 365 beta testers who in large part said the experience was great. Folks in the SMB space were particularly impressed, whereas bigger enterprises were looking for a bit more oomph.

Analysts from Directions on Microsoft weighed in on a pre-launch conference call. There are many things for IT to consider, the analysts say. First, is a cloud solution as good or better than on-premises software? How fast is it, what is the uptime and how do you handle backup and recovery? Then, of course, come the economics, and here you have to compare the total cost of the cloud to the total cost of your in-house solution.

If you are still interested, you then need to choose a package that fits your bill. You can go small with either a range of server apps such as Exchange and SharePoint, stay small but opt for Office apps, or get the whole kit and caboodle, which includes nearly every major server and desktop app Redmond has in stock.

Here's what regular reader Ian has to say:

"I've just put my first customer on the cloud using Office 365. Their first comment was, why is it so slow? But for $6 per user per month (P1 plan) that's a bargain compared to BPOS.

"But, back to UC. The Lync on Office 365 is dumbed down, just like Exchange, and you can't use Office Communicator (MOC) AND Lync on the same computer. Lync isn't compatible with OCS 2007 R2 and MOC isn't compatible with Lync Server 2010. Now that's a problem. Let's hope Office 365 Service Pack 1 has some answers. Microsoft bought Skype, but what they need is Vonage. Wonder if they have enough cash left over to buy Vonage?

"I'm not sure the cloud will ever be as big as anyone hopes. Not a single customer wants to go slower. Ever. Go ask any computer user if slower is OK and see what they say. Opening a large PDF on the cloud can be agony."

Posted by Doug Barney on 06/28/2011 at 12:47 PM


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