Microsoft on the cloud: Sharepoint and Exchange go Online

by admin November 18, 2008 at 4:56 pm

Back in July, Microsoft revealed pricing models and partner compensation details for Microsoft Online Services, and it boasted that a growing number of companies were finding the beta program solid enough to sign on for when the products were released. Yesterday, Microsoft finally announced the availability of two of the services in the United States: Exchange Online and SharePoint Online. Redmond hopes that businesses see these subscription services as a complementary option to the non-cloud versions of Microsoft’s solution for portals and collaboration (Sharepoint) and its solution for e-mail and calendaring (Exchange).

Stephen Elop, president of the Microsoft Business Division, spoke of the launch as if Microsoft had had a major breakthrough: “Customers are embracing Microsoft’s software and services strategy en masse because of the choice and flexibility it gives them. Today, we bring business-class communications and collaboration technologies to the cloud, and we are committed to delivering more capabilities in the months ahead. No one has done what we are doing at this scale, and I’m certain that our customers will continue to take on these solutions as our offerings grow.” In reality, Microsoft has bided its time and watched as the market pointed to the cloud, and now the company is offering businesses something that they’ll find it hard not to take a closer look at: cloud versions of products their business already relies on.

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