Looks like Microsoft is not happy enough with the per seat license fee when a company installs Office on a computer. They are starting to push a per month fee “software as a service” business plan. For $10 per month you can “collaborate” and share using their Office 365 service.
For businesses that have a tight budget I can almost guarantee you can do everything they are trying to push with other online applications and a Pogoplug.
Lets go through Microsoft list of benefits
- Professional cloud-based email —> Gmail
- 25 GB of mailbox storage for each user —> Does someone really need 25gb of email storage? Keep Gmail cleaned up and you will have a hard time burning through your 15gb Gmail is giving you. Use Pogoplug collaborative folder instead of sending attachments.
- Share calendars and schedule meetings —> Gmail
- Connect with video conferencing —> Skype
- Give live online presentations —> Google documents or www.authorstream.com
- Share desktops and co-present —> Logmein Free or Teamviewer
- Includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote Web Apps —> Buy the stand alone Office suite.
- Edit and create files using a browser —> Pogoplug will grab the file and as long as you have Office installed you can create, edit, and save back to the Pogoplug.
- Open and edit files created in Office** —> Buy the stand alone Office suite
- Share files with customers and your team —> Pogoplug
- 10 GB of intranet storage for each user —> Pogoplug Biz (multiple user friendly)
- Build and publish a website for your business —> I’m not sure where Microsoft is going with this, and why Office365 is going to help you. http://www.squarespace.com/ is pretty popular and seems to do a good job.