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Microsoft's Office 365 Now In Public Beta

Microsoft has launched the public beta of Microsoft Office 365, its cloud based productivity suite, in India.

This comes even as Microsoft Corporation announced it is investing 90% of its research and development budget in cloud computing this year.

Office 365 combines Office Web Apps, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online into a cloud service. It was introduced last year in a limited beta version.

Office 365 is for professionals and small businesses and the company claims they can start using all the services within 15 minutes, for an average of Rs 270 per user, per month, starting at Rs 90 per user, per month for instant messaging and presence applications.

The public beta is at available at Office365.com. For enterprise, Office 365 also includes the option to get Microsoft Office Professional Plus desktop software on a pay-as-you-go basis. For Rs 1080 per user, per month, organizations can get Office Professional Plus along with e-mail, voicemail, enterprise social networking, instant messaging, Web portals, extranets, voice conferencing and videoconferencing, web conferencing, 24x7 phone support, on-premises licenses.

According to the company, globally more than 70% of the organizations that signed up for the limited beta were small businesses with fewer than 25 employees. Over 150,000 organizations have signed up to test it so far. "The early adoption trends show how well Office 365 resonates with small businesses that want full-featured professional technology, delivered in a way that makes sense for their company by offering them streamlined communication with simplified IT management," said Sanjay Manchanda, Director, Microsoft Business Division.

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