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Microsoft introduces Online Services and Microsoft Office Live Workspace

Posted on 1-Oct-2007 22:05 | Filed under: News

Microsoft Corp. has laid out the next phase in its strategy for online services, offering a road map for new offerings that synthesise client, server and services software for people and businesses. These offerings will combine elements of client-based programs with software that runs large servers and new services delivered over the Internet.

The offerings announced expand Microsoft's existing portfolio of software plus service solutions that are personalised, integrated and available online anywhere. The company says this approach gives individuals and organizations greater freedom of choice in how they interact with the people, information and activities they value most.

Microsoft plans to deliver a wide variety of new solutions during the coming months under two key families of service offerings: "Live" and "Online."

"Live" services from Microsoft are designed primarily for individuals, business end-users and virtual work groups. Live offerings span entertainment, communication and productivity. These services emphasise ease of use, simplicity of access and flexibility, and are ideally suited for situations where people either don't have access to professional technical expertise or don't require high levels of system management.

"Online" services are for organizations with more advanced IT needs where power and flexibility are critical. Online services from Microsoft give businesses the ability to control access to data, manage users, apply business and compliance policy, and meet high availability standards while providing performance, scalability, enhanced security, management features and service-level capabilities to support mission-critical applications and systems. Microsoft is providing business customers with the flexibility to choose between traditional on-premise implementations, services hosted by Microsoft partners and now Online services that reside in Microsoft's datacenters.

The "Online" offerings are now available to any enterprise with 5,000 or more seats and include Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft Office SharePoint Online and Microsoft Office Communications Online. Those Online services will be delivered through Microsoft. Hosted services will be delivered through Microsoft partners as another choice for customers in how they use Microsoft software.

Microsoft also unveiled the Microsoft Office Live Workspace, a new Web-based feature of Microsoft Office that lets people access their documents online and share their work with others. As part of this realignment Microsoft also changed the name of its Microsoft Office Live hosted small-business service to Microsoft Office Live Small Business.

Office Live Workspace is available at no charge and allows users to organise documents and projects for work, school and home online, and work on them from almost any computer, even one not connected to the company or school network. Users can save more than 1,000 Microsoft Office documents to one place online and access them via the Web.

An extended Microsoft Office allows users to connect to Microsoft Office Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook on their PC via the Web.

As part of Microsoft's software plus services strategy, the company is advancing the way it builds, tests and delivers products to meet the needs of customers. Today Microsoft opened Exchange Labs, a new research and development program for testing next-generation messaging and unified communications capabilities in high-scale environments. Initially, the Exchange Labs program will include select universities and school districts. These participating institutions involve high-scale environments where students, faculty, staff and alumni have unique requirements that blend digital work with digital life.

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