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Microsoft cloud services get major service updates
Posted on 30-Nov-2011 09:23. | Tags Filed under: News.

Microsoft Corp. today announced the first major service update for Microsoft Office 365, the company’s next-generation cloud productivity service for businesses of all sizes. The service will also be available to try in 22 additional markets today, including Argentina, Iceland, Indonesia, South Africa and Taiwan.

“We are seeing really positive momentum for Office 365. Customers are adopting Office 365 eight times faster than our previous service, and the solution is on track to become one of our fastest-growing offers in Microsoft history,” said Kurt DelBene, president of the Office Division at Microsoft. “We are also seeing great traction with small businesses, with more than 90 percent of our early Office 365 customers coming from small businesses.”

The company says more and more large global companies are choosing Office 365 to enable their employees and customers to work together in the cloud. In fact, more than 40 percent of the global Interbrand list of the 100 top brands use Office 365 or related cloud productivity services from Microsoft. Among the new customers are Campbell Soup Company and Groupe Marie-Claire, which have recently chosen Office 365 to reap the benefits of cloud productivity.

“Office 365 is key to our plans to propel our employees to next-generation innovation in productivity technologies, at a very rapid pace,” said Joe Spagnoletti, senior vice president and chief information officer at Campbell Soup Company. “We’re betting on the cloud — and Office 365 — as we prepare to build a highly collaborative workplace where employees across our global offices can all work together and communicate in a seamless fashion.”

Groupe Marie-Claire, a leading fashion magazine published in more than 30 countries, will use Office 365 to modernize the company’s email and collaboration capabilities, while moving away from a costly and inefficient legacy technology. Employees at Groupe Marie-Claire will be able to access email and share documents on a PC, Mac or various mobile devices with Office 365.

“We thoroughly evaluated other cloud productivity offerings in the market before choosing Microsoft. Office 365 is the right choice to help our company support the way people work today and encourage a more mobile work environment,” said Philippe Chapier, IT manager for Groupe Marie-Claire. “With the service, we have the added benefit of working together with familiar tools on almost any device and can make quicker decisions when needed.”

Microsoft is also making more than 30 new updates to Office 365 to enhance collaboration and communication, and for SkyDrive, adding simple app-centric sharing for Office, powerful file management and easier uploads with HTML5 based largely on customer feedback. Key new features and enhancements include the following:

• Support for Lync for Mac. Mac users can now use instant messaging, presence and videoconferencing through Office 365.
• New SharePoint Business Connectivity Services, which allow people to connect to information in their company’s critical line-of-business applications, such as customer relationship management or SAP software.
• Support for Windows Phone 7.5. Starting today, people can access and update documents in SharePoint Online from anywhere using their Windows Phone.
• SkyDrive gets simpler app-centric sharing for Office, powerful file management and easier uploads with HTML5. Share any Office document in one click. Work together more easily with any contact — across email services and connected networks such as Facebook or LinkedIn. Powerful tools to manage and organize files quickly. Drag and drop multiple files to upload across browsers on PC and Mac.

“Today’s news illustrates how we’re executing like never before in the cloud with more customers, capabilities and commitment than anyone in the industry. All this while others search for their focus,” said Takeshi Numoto, corporate vice president, Microsoft Office Division.

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