Microsoft is planning to launch the cloud-based version of its popular Office productivity suite by the end of June.
Office 365, Microsoft's successor of Business Productivity Online Service (BPOS), Live@EDU and Office Live Small Business, is a cloud based version of Office suite which comes with World, Excel and PowerPoint. The online platform is Microsoft’s answer to Google’s Docs, which is being seen as a credible threat to Office's longtime dominance, consists of Microsoft-hosted Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online.
Microsoft BPOS Customers Hit by Multi-Day Outage May 12, 2011.
Office 365 has been in beta for a long time and Microsoft has repeatedly said that the platform will be made generally available by the end of this year. Microsoft first announced Office 365 in October last year and made the platform available as a public beta test in April.
But Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer finally revealed the company's plan to launch Office 365 in June at an event in New Delhi, India.
Office 365 for Education Pricing:
Office 365 for Education will include Exchange Online, as Live@Edu does now, but also will add SharePoint Online, Lync Online, Office Web Apps, support for My Sites (and other new team sites) and site search capabilities. The SharePoint Online and Lync Online functionality will be free for students, and $10 per month per user for educators and staff.
Microsoft also is offering a package, consisting of all of the above mentioned hosted services, plus a copy of Office Professional Plus (its highest end Office SKU) to run on users’ PCs. For this version of Office 365 for Education that includes Professional Plus, Microsoft plans to charge $2 per month per student and $14 per user per month for educators and staff.