Microsoft Office 365 floats into cloud services segment

Microsoft Office 365 Technology giants are obviously trying to play their cards right at this point, where cloud services are just starting to take off. The newly launched Microsoft Office 365 packs Microsoft Office, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft Lync Online into one neat bundle under the cloud services segment.

Office 365 had been through the beta testing phase last year, with over 2,00,000 organizations signing up to try it out. Apparently, businesses employing the service reported reductions in IT costs by up to 50% while showing increased productivity. The underlining idea is to render a simplified solution for communication and collaboration.

“Great collaboration is critical to business growth, and because it’s so important, we believe the best collaboration technology should be available to everyone,” expressed Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “With a few clicks, Office 365 levels the playing field, giving small and midsize businesses powerful collaboration tools that have given big businesses an edge for years.”

“Our partners represent some of the best-known, most-trusted brands in their local markets,” cited Kurt DelBene, president of Microsoft Office Division. “Our customers will be able to rest easy knowing their cloud services are backed by Microsoft and some of the greatest service providers in the world.”

More than 20 service providers across the world have sketched out plans to vend Microsoft Office 365 with their own services for small and midsize businesses. We’re talking about companies like Bell Canada, Vodafone, Telstra, NTT Communications and Telefonica who may add anything from web hosting and broadband to finance solutions and mobile services to the package.

Microsoft Office 365 has been rolled out for businesses and enterprises in 40 markets. The per monthly cost per user ranges anywhere from $2 to $27 for the U.S.