According to Microsoft, Office 365 is set to launch in June of 2011.
Speaking at a cloud summit in India, Ballmer said the company is aggressive in the cloud market. “We’re pushing hard in the productivity space. We’ll launch our Office 365 cloud service, which gives you Lync and Exchange and SharePoint and Office and more as a subscribable service that comes from the cloud,” Ballmer said. “That launches in the month of June.”
Office 365 will allow businesses to deploy the latest Office software from Microsoft whether it’s on the desktop, online or via the cloud. Office 365 provides Office 2010, Exchange, SharePoint and Lync all Online in a cloud-based service.
The service is a full browser-based solution that incorporates webmail, collaboration and document management.
The entry-level package, Office 365 for Small Businesses, provides Office Web Apps, Exchange, SharePoint and Lync online with an external website for $6 per user, per month.
Larger businesses can take advantage of Office 365 for Enterprise. The package is $24 a user, per month and will include email, voicemail, enterprise social networking, instant messaging, web portals, extranets, voiceconferencing and videoconferencing. The Enterprise package also includes pay-as-you-go access to Office Professional Plus.
Microsoft expanded the capability of its Office 365 beta in April A total of 38 markets and 17 language can now try Office 365 for the first time.
Microsoft originally allowed a few thousand organizations, in 13 countries and regions around the world, access to the beta.
Office 365 will be generally available in 40 countries at launch in June.
What will be interesting is seeing what hooks or integration points will exist between Windows 8 and Office 365.
I also am betting that Microsoft may change the name of Windows 8 to Windows 365 to match the Enterprise branding of the Office suite.
That is 100% my speculation – backed up by nothing (a hunch).