Microsoft expands its Online hosted services trials

Microsoft expands its Online hosted services trials

Summary: Microsoft is making trial versions of its growing family of Microsoft-hosted services available to users outside of the United States.


Microsoft is making trial versions of its growing family of Microsoft-hosted services available to users outside of the United States.

Microsoft is allowing customers of all sizes to sign up for trials of its Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), its Communications Online enterprise instant-messaging service and its BPOS Deskless Worker Suite, company officials announced on March 2 at CeBIT 2009. Final versions of these services will be available outside the U.S. in April, 2009, Microsoft officials said.

The 18 newly added markets for Microsoft's Online services are: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom

A quick refresher on Microsoft's hosted services: Microsoft has been rolling out over the past-year-plus a number of services that it is hosting itself. The current family includes Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Communications Online and BPOS (a bundle of these three, plus Live Meeting); CRM Online; and a couple of client-side offerings -- the Exchange Deskless Worker, SharePoint Deskless Worker and the Bbusiness Productivity Online Deskless Worker suite. The company is believed to be readying a number of other Microsoft-hosted Online services, including Forefront Online and possibly some kind of System Center Online services.

Microsoft also touted a customer win -- with Glaxo SmithKline for 100,000 seats of its hosted Online wares -- at CeBIT, as well.

"We've gone from 0 to 60 in the past 12 months" in the services space, said Chris Capossela, Senior Vice President of Microsoft's Information Worker Product Management Group.

Capossela said Microsoft has signed up more than 1,500 resellers, at the rate of about 100 per week, to sell these Microsoft-hosted services. A number of Microsoft partners have balked at Microsoft's entrance to the hosted-services market, claiming that Microsoft is competing with its allies.

Update: Here's how Microsoft packages and prices its Online services. A spokesperson sent the following information:

The full suite is $15 per/user per month; the breakdown for each product is:

* $10 per user/month for Exchange Online * $7.25 user/month for SharePoint Online * $2.50 user/month for Office Communications Online * $4.50 user/month for Office Live Meeting * $2 per user/month for Exchange Online Deskless Worker * $2 per user/month for SharePoint Online Deskless Worker

Users can purchase most of these services separately (with at least one exception: SharePoint Online Deskless Worker requires customers to have a SharePoint Server or SharePoint Online).

Topics: CXO, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Microsoft, Software


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • A very delicate job for MS as partners are feeling the squeeze, and MS is

    switching to smaller resellers that do not have to have much technical expertise. The question is if the partners will be happy being reduced to low margin resellers that do not need technical expertise, or, if they will look to sell something else that they can still host?
    • Troll away Mr. Paige. Google is really feeling the heat...

  • RE: Microsoft expands its Online hosted services trials

    We welcome the move by Microsoft to rollout their volume offering across the globe. This validates the model that leading service providers have been architecting for several years and will take the online services market beyond the traditional early adopters that have been the only takers until now.

    But, while Microsoft and Google are slogging it out on price, established Service Providers like Cobweb will continue to do what they do best - focus on the customer need, offer a wide-range of services, deliver great customer service with personal support, and ensure our resellers get what they really want - decent margin and customer ownership.

    Read more detailed thoughts on the Cobweb Blog, including more on the "Power of Choice" and how we're part of this offering as a Microsoft Gold Partner for Hosted Solutions

    As a final note - what's happened to the Power of Choice?

    Mark Adams
  • RE: Microsoft expands its Online hosted services trials

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