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By 29 June 2011 | Categories: news

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Microsoft has announced the availability of its new Office 365 cloud-based service. Office 365 is now available in 40 markets around the globe, ranging from Austria through to the States, but unfortunately South Africa isn’t included yet.

The company’s Google Docs competitor was introduced in beta form last year with over 200 000 organisations signing up to test it in just a few months.

This online business productivity toolset delivers Microsoft Office, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Exchange Online as well as Microsoft Lync Online to users, in an always-up-to-date cloud service. Unlike Docs that is free, Office 365 users have to pay a monthly subscription fee to utilise it, starting from $2 (less than R14) and going up to $27 (approx. R185) per user per month in the US.

“Great collaboration is critical to business growth, and because it’s so important, we believe the best collaboration technology should be available to everyone,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

“With a few clicks, Office 365 levels the playing field, giving small and midsize businesses powerful collaboration tools that have given big businesses an edge for years.”

Office 365 for small businesses and Office 365 for enterprises are available now. Organisations will be able to try out Office 365 for free for a period of 30 days by signing up on the company’s website or with their local Microsoft partner. No local release info is available yet.

In related news, Microsoft recently updated its iPhone/iOS to Windows Phone 7 API mapping tool, adding an Android to Windows Phone API mapping tool, to allow developers to port their Android applications to Windows Phone 7.

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