SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Microsoft has released a new version of Microsoft Office 365 for businesses.
Microsoft's software as a service Microsoft Office 365 suite has been competing against Google Apps for some time, but now the firm has updated the subscription based suite weeks after it released Microsoft Office 2013. The firm has released four versions, pitching Microsoft Office 365 at companies from one person businesses all the way up to enterprises with thousands of employees.
While Microsoft Office 365 features the standard suite of Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, Access, Onenote and Publisher, the firm touts collaboration services including Lync, Sharepoint and Yammer integration. Microsoft said the service will also have voice messaging functionality by June.
Microsoft Office Division president Kurt DelBene said, "With Office 365, everyone from large enterprises to small businesses to individual consumers can now benefit from the power of Office and the connectivity of the cloud. This release unlocks new scenarios and delivers capabilities that far surpass anything available in browser-only solutions."
Microsoft's pricing for Microsoft Office 365 ranges from $150 per user per year for the Small Business Premium edition and goes up to $180 per user per year for the Midsize Business edition, though the curiously named Proplus edition, which apparently is the "most complete set of fully featured, rich Office applications", is priced at $144 per user per year.
Google and Microsoft have been battling over offering productivity suites as subscription based services, with Google Apps going up against Microsoft Office 365. However until Microsoft Office 365 supports Android and iOS tablets it might find that businesses are not quite ready to move away from traditional versions of Microsoft Office with their one time prices to the subscription based software as a service option that can be far more lucrative for Microsoft. µ