Microsoft has named the third-party service that will replace the now dismantled Public Websites feature within SharePoint Online.
The Israeli web-development platform provider Wix.com now integrates directly with Office 365 for website creation and management. The integration allows Office 365 subscribers to select Wix from within the Microsoft platform as a web-hosting provider. In addition, subscribers still using Microsoft to host a domain will be able to connect the domain to a new site built on Wix.
At the time the shut down news was announced, Ian Hameroff, director of product marketing for Office 365, told ZDNet it was due to its relative lack of usage, and that Microsoft wanted to prioritize where it invests its time and money on Office 365 features.
As for SharePoint, the more than 14-year-old infrastructure product still provides a bevy of services, such as intranet, social networking, search, content and document management.
As for Wix, the Microsoft deal is sweet in that it opens the door to a pool of new users, even if the number is one that Microsoft considered insignificant. Wix has been gaining ground in the SMB web-hosting space over the last couple of years, and it's poised to grow even larger.
Wix co-founder and CEO Avishai Abrahami summed up the business potential in a prepared statement:
"Through Office 365, we are excited to provide even more business owners with an easy and affordable platform on which to create, manage and grow their business online."