Microsoft Office 365 in beta testing and scheduled for 2011

Nigel Duke 28 October 2010 0

Last week Microsoft announced that their desktop and web-based hybrid, Microsoft Office 365, is scheduled to be available for purchase in 2011. The suite is currently in beta testing.

Rather than go head-to-head with Google Apps, a purely web-based offering, Microsoft are playing to their strengths on the desktop whilst offering features unique to the web.  Microsoft Office 365 packages Microsoft Office desktop suite with Microsoft’s communications and collaboration applications: Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online, which previously made up Microsoft Business Productivity Online.

Perhaps significant for organisations with a large Microsoft Office installation base is that Office 365 appears to offer the opportunity to use Microsoft’s desktop suite on a pay-as-you-go basis.

For small businesses (less than 25 people) Office 365 is free for the first 30 days and then USD 6 per user per month –

For enterprises there are a range of plans priced between USD 2 – USD 28 per user per month, with a 99.9% uptime guarantee –

The operating system requirements for Office 365 are rather more detailed than a wholly web-based office suite, such as Google Apps or Zoho:

  • Windows XP SP3 with RPC over HTTP update
  • Windows XP Home is supported but will not support federated identity
  • Windows Media Center edition is supported but will not support federated identity
  • Windows Vista SP2
  • Windows 7
  • Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger), 10.5 (Leopard), 10.6 (Snow Leopard)

Office Client Requirements

  • Office 2007 SP2 or Office 2010
  • Office 2008 for Mac and Entourage 2008 Web Services Edition
  • .NET Framework 2.0 or later
  • Microsoft Lync 2010
  • Mac Messenger 9

Browser Requirements — Administration Center and My Company Portal

  • Internet Explorer 8 is required for Windows XP
  • Internet Explorer 7 or above for Windows Vista and Windows 7
  • Firefox 3.x
  • Safari 4.x

Browser Requirements — Outlook Web App

  • Internet Explorer 7 or above
  • Firefox 3 or higher
  • Safari 3 or higher on Macintosh OS X 10.5
  • Chrome 3 and later versions

Browser Requirements —Outlook Web App Light

  • Internet Explorer 5.5+
  • Firefox 2+
  • Safari 3+
  • Opera

Nigel Duke (30 Posts)

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