Microsoft readies Office Live beta

by admin February 15, 2006 at 5:49 am

The software firm will launch a massive test of its online services for businesses on Wednesday

Microsoft plans on Wednesday to kick off the test version of Office Live, the company’s collection of Web hosting and business applications for small businesses.

The company is targeting businesses with fewer than 10 employees. Although nearly 9 in 10 such businesses in the US have Web access, only about half have their own Web site, Microsoft says.

“That’s a lot of small businesses without a Web site,” said Dean Nicolls, senior product manager for Microsoft’s information worker services group. In one sign of the demand, Nicolls said, more than 100,000 businesses have signed up for the test. All of those companies are being included in the test of Office Live, while additional companies can sign up on Microsoft’s site.

With Office Live, Microsoft is offering email, Web domains, Web site hosting and other services for free during the beta. The services will be sold on a subscription basis once the effort moves from beta to final status around November, although the most basic package will remain free.

Full article: ZDNet UK