June 28, 2011

Uphill Battle for Microsoft

Erick Schonfeld, writing for TechCrunch:
Office 365 is all of Microsoft’s cloud productivity apps rolled into one service. It includes Web-based email, shared documents, shared calendars, instant messaging, video conferencing and Web meetings, and websites. Customers can pick and choose which apps they want and pay a monthly subscription from $2 to $27 per month.
Microsoft has got an uphill climb with their re-branded cloud offering. It's tough to compete with Google Apps, even if Google has an occasional habit of shutting down APIs and services. For starters, Microsoft's previous cloud service umbrella, BPOS, syncs with older versions of desktop Office applications that the new service won't. So there's a potential upgrade cost involved in the new offering. Staying with BPOS isn't an option, because MS is imposing a 12-month deadline for transitioning away to 365.