Microsoft Office 365 update for businesses announced

Office

Microsoft Office 365 has been updated for businesses and is available globally. It brings a new set of offerings in addition to a few other things. Upgraded versions of the company’s Lync, Exchange and SharePoint Online services have been rolled out and the software’s applications are now available on up to 5 devices for each user as an ‘always up-to-date cloud service.’

The update to the business version brings along 3 new options. The first is ‘ProPlus’ which is a standalone offering and includes fully-featured applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, InfoPath and Access. Subscribers can access this on up to 5 devices and it comes for $144 per user per year. In addition, IT departments will be able to use it side-by-side with other versions of Office.

Midsize Business

Then there’s the ‘Midsize Business’ package which has been designed for organizations with 10 to 250 employees and includes the ProPlus package. Users will also benefit from the Exchange, Lync and SharePoint Online services, while simplified IT tools are added to maintain control. It is available for $180 per user for an annual subscription.

Finally, we have the ‘Small Business Premium’ set meant for businesses with 10 or less employees. It is a light version of things and gives account holders access to Office applications, email, shared calendars and a few others while not requiring a level of IT control. It is priced at $150 for an annual subscription per user, which amounts to about $12.50 per month for each subscriber.

Small Business Premium

The customer preview version of Office 2013 was made available for download last July and was only compatible with Windows 7 and 8. Then in early December 2012, it was made available to business professionals with inherently social aspects. Real-time news feeds were added, as was high-definition video conferencing. Last month the Home Premium edition of the suite went live with 20GB of SkyDrive storage, an interesting prospect indeed.

Microsoft Office 365 for businesses can now be purchased as the entire service is now available in 69 markets and 17 languages. By the end of the second quarter, it is expected to be expanded to an additional 20 markets and 16 languages. The range is available directly from the Redmond-based company or through a retail partner.