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Microsoft's Ambitious Online Suite

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Lounge' started by pow-wow, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. pow-wow

    pow-wow Guest

    If yours is among the 50 percent of small businesses that don't yet have a Web presence, Microsoft wants you. It wants you so badly, in fact, it's willing to register your domain name and host your Website for free. Plus, it'll throw in Web-based design tools and templates so you can build your site, as well as business-class e-mail (meaning name@yourbusiness.com, not some unprofessional-looking Hotmail account) for up to 25 people.

    Is there a catch? Sure: The Redmond giant is hoping you'll like its Microsoft Office Live online services suite so much that you'll upgrade to one of its paid monthly service plans. But that's not the worst thing in the world. Once you get comfortable with the ASP (application service provider) model for your Website and e-mail, the other services Office Live offers will probably seem pretty appealing.

    As we've noted before, Office Live has no relation to Microsoft Office (except for an Outlook-like e-mail component), and you don't get word-processing or spreadsheet functionality as the Office moniker implies  at least not yet. We can't imagine that the service's use of the "Office" name was an accident. And with archrival Google offering those features online, we can't imagine Microsoft sitting that one out.

    But even without productivity apps, Office Live is certainly an ambitious undertaking  both for Microsoft and a small business owner who commits to the platform. It delivers business-class Web-based e-mail, Website hosting and development, online collaboration and calendaring, online accounting, online file storage and sharing, entry-level CRM and project management, and more.

    Full article:http://www.smallbusinesscomputing.com/biztools/article.php/3645876

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