Microsoft Office 365 launch date revealed

Redmond exec lets it slip on Twitter...
Written by Tim Ferguson, Contributor

Redmond exec lets it slip on Twitter...

Microsoft Office 365

Office 365 will be made available to all users on 28 June, according to a Microsoft executive's tweetImage: Microsoft

Microsoft has announced general availability of its major software-as-a-service (SaaS) play Office 365, which will launch on 28 June.

Office 365 brings together online versions of Microsoft's Office applications Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Word along with online versions of email platform Exchange and the SharePoint and Lync collaboration technologies.

The news was broken on Twitter by corporate VP of Microsoft's worldwide partner group Jon Roskill.

Although a Microsoft spokeswoman wouldn't confirm the launch date, she told silicon.com there will be a press event held on 28 June "to hear the latest news about Office 365".

Office 365 launched in beta in October 2010.

Microsoft's SaaS offerings have been relatively piecemeal until now. The company made online versions of Office apps available with Office Web Apps in June 2010 and offered email and collaboration tech as Business Productivity Online Suite in April 2009.

Office 365 updates the applications - most notably replacing Office Communications Online and Office Live Meeting with Lync - and brings them under a single banner.

By bringing these SaaS technologies together in Office 365, Microsoft is hoping to take on the likes of Google Apps and Oracle Cloud Office to boost its share of the SaaS applications market.

The Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed Roskill's comment that there are now more than 100,000 customers taking part in the limited beta programme of Office 365, which was first announced in April.

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