Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Microsoft Office 365: One Reason to Look Forward to Summer

In case you have not heard Microsoft is moving “to the cloud.” Some of you may be wondering what the cloud is. Simply put, it’s the Internet. Yep, that’s all it is. Sure, you could get more technical and debate the merits of the “public cloud” versus the “private cloud”, but we’re not going to do that here.

The consumer market has embraced the cloud for email (think Yahoo and Hotmail), instant messaging (AIM/AOL, Windows Live Messenger, etc.) and social networking/sharing sites (YouTube, Facebook and Flickr). And on the business front, marketing and sales automation tools are often hosted in the cloud (Salesforce.com and Eloqua to name just a couple).

The business benefits are pretty clear when it comes to this approach: no need to buy or maintain software or hardware, no need to worry about upgrades (you’re always on the latest version!) and no need for dedicated IT staff to manage the solution—they can focus on other, more important issues. Plus, you can access information no matter where you are.

With the launch of Microsoft® Office 365, an upcoming cloud offering expected to be available this summer, the solution combines the Office applications you’re already familiar with, like Word, PowerPoint®, Excel® and more, along with Exchange® (Outlook email) Online, SharePoint® Online and Lync™ Online.

Lync, in case you didn’t know, is the next-generation of Live Meeting, combining instant messaging and PC-based conferencing into a single application.

We’re looking forward to the launch this summer, and we‘ll be sharing more information with you as that time gets closer. Be sure to stay tuned!

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