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Microsoft Corp. introduces Office 365

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Redmond, Wash.—Microsoft Corp. announced the release of Microsoft Office 365, a cloud-based version of the company’s Office software suite. Office 365 brings together Microsoft Office, SharePoint online, Exchange Online and Lync Online in a cloud-based service.

“What we’re announcing is a new cloud-based Office called Office 365,” David Webster, Microsoft’s general manager-brand and marketing strategy, said in an interview with BtoB. “It’s the next generation of productivity enabled by the cloud for businesses of all sizes.”

With the announcement, Microsoft is opening a limited beta testing program for Office 365 in 13 countries. Office 365 will be available worldwide next year.

Office 365 is designed to allow even the smallest companies to have access to enterprise level software via the cloud, Webster said. With the new iteration of the Office brand, Microsoft intends to target small and midsize businesses as well as large enterprises.

With Office 365 for small businesses, Microsoft said that small companies can be using Office Web Apps, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online and an external website “in just 15 minutes,” for $6 per user, per month.

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