For better or worse, Microsoft (MSFT) is starting to hang ten on the office apps wave.
Remember the good old days of say, 18 months ago? Google (GOOG) ruled the Web-based business app seas with its Google Apps line of office software tools. And Microsoft was king of the so-called on-premises office world -- that is, the Microsoft Office line of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and all the rest that runs from the PCs sitting on office desks.
That was then. Now is now. Several weeks back, Microsoft quietly rolled out a powerful beta version of its flagship Microsoft Office line of tools that represents a profound new direction for the company by blurring this online/on-premises software battle line.Unlike those old days, Redmond is not looking to sell you pricey copies of work software such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint and load that code on hard computers linked with collaboration tools such as SharePoint and Exchange -- the software that hosts a company's websites and email. Instead, Redmond will lease access to a blended system of Web-based office and collaboration tools and its traditional on-premises office software. Called Microsoft Office 365 -- because, hey, you get dizzy just thinking about it, I guess -- the service attempts to enable enterprise-level office collaboration through the entire suite of Microsoft tools. And at much a lower cost, at least to start. Office 365 runs $6 per person, per month, exclusive of the cost of the local on-premises software. That's a fraction of the thousands a fully loaded SharePoint or Exchange server runs. "It is Office as we intended it to be," says Elisa Graceffo, group product manager at Microsoft, who gave me a lengthy demo of the product. I have been testing Office 365 in my own six-person small business for a few weeks. Much reporting has yet to be done -- this is one massive program -- but already several major trends are obvious for businesses. Just what is it?
Office 365 tries to bring all the benefits of centrally administered business-class software to a Web-based environment even the smallest of businesses can use.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV