Microsoft Launches Update Of Office 365 For Business

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By Vijaykumar Meti | February 28, 2013 5:40 PM EST

Back in January, Microsoft Crop released the online version of the flagship office application to rival cloud storage system, Google Drive. Now the technology giant has gone a step further by officially announcing the global availability of a major update to its Microsoft Office 365 service for business users on Wednesday.

The new Office cloud service has new features and offerings tailored to the needs and budgets of small, medium-size and large organizations.

"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," said Microsoft Office Division President Kurt DelBene. "This release unlocks new scenarios and delivers capabilities that far surpass anything available in browser-only solutions."

Microsoft cited that Office is one of the fastest-growing businesses in the company's history. Since its launch, one in five on Microsoft's enterprise customers now has the paid service while the number of small and mid-size businesses using Office 356 has also grown by 150 percent in the past 12 months.

Microsoft offers three new version of Office 356 for business users; Office 365 ProPlus, Office 365 Midsize Business and Office 365 Small Business Premium.

The Office 365 ProPlus includes the largest and most complete set of fully featured, rich Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, InfoPath and Access) will be delivered as a service on up to five devices.

The office 365 Midsize Business is designed for medium-sized businesses with 10 to 250 employees. The service includes features of Office 365 ProPlus and also provides enterprise quality communication and collaboration with Exchange Online, Lync Online and SharePoint Online along with simplified IT tools.

The Office 365 Small Business Premium is designed for small businesses with 1 to 10 employees. The service features complete set of Office application along with business-grade email, shared calendars, website tools and HD videoconferencing capability which does not require IT expertise.

The new Office 365 service is available in 69 markets and 17 languages and will be available in an additional 20 markets and 16 languages in the second quarter of this year. The Office 365 ProPlus is available at $144 per user for an annual subscription while Office 365 Midsize Business and Office 365 Small Business Premium is available for $180 and $150 respectively for an annual subscription.

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