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back to article Microsoft opens Office 365 beta floodgates to the world

Microsoft Office 365 hit public beta yesterday as Redmond uncorked a marketplace to support the long-gestating cloud-based Office suite. The public beta pushes the suite out to 38 markets, in 17 languages. It comes in two flavours: small business on a month-to-month deal with "community support", or enterprise with 24x7 admin …

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Alien

Marketplace's reassuringly corporate focus

> Together with the Marketplace's reassuringly corporate focus, that should ensure that the site will be free of the sort of moralistic mucking about that Apple has become involved in with the iTunes store ..

I take it then that the Exodus International "gay cure" app will find a home on the 365 Marketplace. It also amazes me that you managed to not once mention Googles' cloud-based offerings.

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LOL

"It also amazes me that you managed to not once mention Googles' cloud-based offerings."

That gave me a chuckle...! As I was reading this article, I was expecting the obligatory plug that you normally get on this biased site. Either that, or some snide comment a la The Inquirer...

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Happy

Like the name

Microsoft Office "Any Year But Leap Year"

or possibly (since there are closer to 365.24 days in a year)

Microsoft Office "Perpetually Inaccurate"

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Go

peyton? pointless? yes.

I get that you dislike M$, but to the extent where you would post something so wholly unconnected with the article seems rather bizarre to me.

Very superficial indeed.

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I have no problem with Microsoft

Also, I have never used the abbreviation "M$".

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Go

peyton? misunderstood? Yes.

Did I ever claim that you did?

The abbreviation coincides with my current opinions of Microsoft for this week [only].

:)

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Dear oh dear

It's as astonishing as it is equally amusing that companies such as Microsoft believe people want to use Cloud based "services" such as this in any sort of meaningful volumes. Medium to large businesses certainly wouldn't trust or rely on such a service and expecting home users to buy into some monthly fee sham is OTT even for them.

Looks like it's going to take a series of costly failures for them to accept people aren't stupid enough to buy into this cloud based services scam!

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Boffin

RE: Dear oh dear

Whilst my control-freak nature wants me to say "Agreed!", I remember the same thing being said by many about the original hosting offerings, and look at how many businesses now run just about everything server-based in someone else's datacenter. For a smaller business I'm sure it would be very attractive - the office desktops can be skinny; admin is taken care of; no need for local storage as it's all backed up and stored (probably redundantly) by (hopefully) experts you'd have to pay a fortune for if you employed them directly; and all the important data is being securely stored in a site (or multiple sites) that probably have far better physical security and security processes than you can afford in your dinky office. As long as the hoster can suplly a good enough (and securely encrypted) link it is no different to running a VDI-type setup with your users remote from the desktop servers in your datacenter, it's just the datacenter is a bit further away.

Big bizz? Well, that's a bit different - we can afford to indulge our paranoid control-freakery. But I'm sure CIOs would look if M$ said it would be, say, 50% cheaper to do it all in their cloud than have licences for thousands of desktops. I suppose it's all about pricing and security, two areas M$ has historically had problems with.

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What customers?

A lot of companies would love to use thin client PCs, so long as the 'cloud' could be a server room physically on site. The Google vs Microsoft case implies that Microsoft is quite happy to offer this - probably users on thin client terminals, a big server room running the 'cloud' software in the customers basement, and data replication to other customer sites and a big backup center.

Easy to support, doesn't rely on your data line, centralized control of information...

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one born every minute

>equally amusing that companies such as Microsoft believe people want to

>use Cloud based "services" such as this in any sort of meaningful volumes

Can you say "Royal mail"?

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The world and its monkey...

...can offer this. Not just Google or MS. And for the "case", if it's the one I think it is then all hell is about to break loose. The MS cloud is not FISMA certified according to Groklaw. http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20110413220154117

FISMA won't apply to everyone, and there's loads of offering that will do private clouds, cloudburst etc. And if they company has a web presence, odds are they are already running a flavour of the OS that is could aware and have most of the skills in-house already.

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Happy

RE: Dear oh dear? Not sure...

I not so sure that people would object to the Cloud nowadays. When it was first introduced, the concept was rejected by a lot of people, me included - but as with everything, it seems to worm it's way into 'acceptability'.

Certainly, the general public have been using the Cloud in various ways, in some respects unwittingly - the current spread of mobile devices, internet based mail, Flickr, social networks etc. all help the concept run along.

If the rumours are true, M$' Hotmail will replace the current Live Mail/Outlook Express application and Window 8 will have some form of Cloud integration built-in.

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See now...

This is what the "cloud" isn't good for. All Your Software Are Belong To Microsoft? I think not.

Just give me a disk and a computer to put it in. Or an .apk and a usb lead to send it over, whatever. Just so long as my machine's continued usefulness does not depend on paying the people behind those big glass doors.

Have people never heard of RDP?

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Boffin

RE: See now...

"......All Your Software Are Belong To Microsoft?....." Your anit-M$ fervour is blinding you to the fact that many less technically-capable (or just technically-adventurous) companies are quite happy to use nothing but M$ software and pay the M$ tax, because the software (largely) does what it says on the tin, has good support from a company unlikley to curl up and die next week, and also has a wide base of users so it is easy to recruit trained people to run it. All that generates a sense of comfort. Sure, you could replace everything with Linux and FOSS, but just try finding skilled people that can run it, develop it to your needs (not just in-between snowboarding jaunts), and then doing all that on a small budget.

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What the fuck?

Hang on, who the what which where now? "M$"? Linux and FOSS? I really don't care if the system on the other end is being run by some ideological Debian purist. If I want to put a website on a host that'll scale up to however many users decide to use it at once, I'll consider "cloud" computing. If I want somewhere to store my personal information, I'll use my personal computer!

Are you that eager to put all of your information technology back behind the glass doors?

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buying into cloud

I use a dual boot system of Ubuntu and MS and I do think this system of cloud computing is a good ideas especially for small buisnesses like mine who are alway looking to save a bob or two.

I don't know about Medium to large businesses, but small ones will probably take this offer up.

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Anonymous Coward

MS vs Google cloud...

not wanting to get into a religious war here as I use both platforms with different customers but there is a huge difference in the offerings

the Google Apps solution is cheap and cheerful but does toe their "network is the computer" line (oh, actually that was Sun ... rememeber them?) but it's only really cheap and cheerful if you can see the cloud... if you're on an international flight without WiFi and need to check email or update a report... then you'd better hope you took a local copy and have (gasp) Office installed ... which pushes up the cost.

The Office365 solution, while similar in goal of putting everything in the cloud at a very reasonable price but while it is very "cloud centric" in operation it's also got the heritage of the on-site deployments of Exchange etc so fully supports integration with the desktop Office suite which means that if you want a rich full client experience with offline support then it may be a better solution

Personally I've been using hosted exchange for my personal mail, contacts and calendaring since about 2002 and it allowed us to grow our business from a one-man-shop to a distributed small business without having to worry about infrastructure or capital costs beyond laptops, phones and DSL - if you plan right then the cloud can be a big part of the story, just make sure when it's not there you can still work

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Badgers

Does this mean?

I can get MS Office running my Linux desktop?

Not that I want to of course (LibreOffice is fine for evrything I do) - just asking in principle....

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FAIL

nope

I far as I know it just won' t work if you haven't got office locally installed. Never understood the " cloud" thing in this offering...

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Probably not

I can't figure out how to get it to work using IE9 on Windows 7. Maybe that is why it is still in beta. However, the free Windows Live Skydrive works just fine and you can use that as a way to get MS Office running on your linux desktop.

They are good if you want to work on a document alongside loads of other people, but if you just want to type letters, manage your money or do powerpoint substitute presentations, LibreOffice is a much better choice.

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I understand it perfectly

"You can save 50% by going to the Cloud!"

"Oh, you still need to buy a full compliment of Office licenses. Sucker."

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FAIL

nope

You need office local for this thing to work. So far for the cloud...

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Boffin

RE: nope

"You need office local for this thing to work....." Yes, but you only need the license on the lcoal machine, you don't need the ooomph of a full desktop to run the full suite though, you can use a skinny client PC (such as a laptop, notebook, or even a tablet). This is the same model as virtualised desktops - big back-end server farm with centralised admin and backup - with the "added bonus" that all your data is supposedly safely stored offsite, in a redundant cloud.

M$ is being clever here - it's hard for the Linux crowd to compete as few FOSS players are going to be able to offer a cloud service as they will lack the resources to provider a truly competitive offering. Can Red Hat provide a cloud service, Worldwide, to the same level? Google can, but M$ are tying them up in knots with an anti-competitive lawsuit around search. Apple? Too small in the office market (the M$ cloud could be the killer app for the new M$ tablets that undoes the Apple iPad tablet dominance). IBM or hp? Too busy partnering with M$ to want to butt heads with M$.

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Cloud? Pah!

"Exchange in the Cloud allowed us to grow our business from a one-man-shop to a distributed small business without having to worry about infrastructure or capital costs beyond laptops, phones and DSL "

I would suggest that you have a look at Small Business Server - we run it on what would otherwise have been a redundant PC. It's sat in a cupboard for five years, runs Windows Server, Exchange, SharePoint and ISA server. It delivers push email, OWA, OMA, a collaborative working environment and all of the rich facilities of its corporate cousins. It has worked flawlessly without intervention and paid fof itself in less than 12 months costing only a few £100s. Oh, and the 2003 version needs less hardware and is just as good! Way to go...

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Ooohhh... I can't wait...

No, seriously... I really can't wait to pay Microsoft, perpetual-fees, to do what I do now, with my own software... on my own, fully-functional, computer... with the data that I create/own/control... the way -> I <- want to use it... when -> I <- want to do it.

Instead, I (along with so many other "users") would MUCH rather hand ALL CONTROL over to such a trust-worthy, honest, mega-corporation... who always seems to, so efficiently, and safely, work, so-selflessly for me (and all the other consumers, and business-interests)... AND, add the additional uncertainties of Internet-access into the most basic operations of my data-processing needs... AND, continually worry about, externally-imposed, "upgrades", "incompatibilities", endlessly-changing "features", "fees", "licensing", and "billing"... ALL to make the wealthiest (and most legally-dubious) software-company in the world... wealthier, and even more powerful and controlling.

...</SARCASM>

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Stop

RE: Ooohhh... I can't wait...

You are thinking from the techie's viewpoint, but buisnesses see software and licences as just expensive things they have to pay for to allow them to do business and make profits. It is completely irrellevant to the majority of CEOs what makes up the IT stack and who controls it as long as it allows them to run the business. If you are working in a position where you think you will have to defend against the idea of moving to the M$ cloudd then I suggest you formulate a business case as to why this would be a bad thing (such as suggesting the additional security required would cost more than the savings, or that it might reduce flexibility). Use real and proveable figures because money is what they understand. Don't use what they will see as "techno-babble" as that will just make you look like a paranoid, anti-M$, Linux-lover.

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Troll

Matt Bryant, you are a plonker.

Two posts, and neither one even mentions the Toy Unix. And yet, you're going on some holy crusade against anybody who might know what they are talking about? Go you! Perhaps you are the master of assumption? Or maybe just one of those things on the left.

Now, can you come across as something other than a Microsoft shill? Not saying you are one. Just, that's what you sound like.

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Let's be clear

Let's be clear about why Microsoft is focused on this business: there are enough 2nd user MS Office licences out there for their traditional business model to be redundant.

As for "Potential listers will have to promise to provide "unique intellectual property"" - oh, really? Microsoft don't have the best reputation in the world for acknowledging the IPR of their business partners, do they? ( www.tadag.com )

David Gale

CEO

SITFO.org

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