Microsoft announced an update today of its Office 365 cloud services for business. Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus offers the latest versions of applications familiar to Microsoft customers and some new features. Among these are the most up-to-date collection of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, InfoPath and Access.
However, the new cloud service is also now delivered on up to five devices. Documents and personalized settings follow you letting you pick up where you left off from anywhere.
Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus also offers enhanced social capabilities that include SharePoint, Yammer, Lync-Skype, instant messaging and voice.
The update is offered as a stand alone for $144 per user for an annual subscription. But there are also updates available for the Office 365 Small Business Premium and Office 365 Midsize Business packages:
- Office 365 Midsize Business is targeted for companies with between 10 to 250 employees. It includes communication and collaboration tools, enhanced IT tools and business hours phone support. The updated version is priced at $180 per user for an annual subscription.
- Office 365 Small Business Premium is aimed at smaller companies between 1 and 10 employees. The premium version features email, shared calendars, website tools and HD video conferencing and requires no IT experience to operate. The updated version costs $150 per person for an annual subscription.
Kurt DelBene, President of the Microsoft Office Division, wrote in a statement on the Official Microsoft blog that Microsoft wanted to create “over-the-shoulder envy” with the Office 365 update. DelBene envisioned others asking Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus customers what kind of software they were using.
DelBene claimed in a prepared statement that the updates surpassed anything available in a browser-only solution . However, small business owners will need to decide how the Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus update compares with, say, Google Apps for Business on features and price.
Microsoft is touting its Office 365 services and updates as targeted specifically for small business use. However, new customers announced Wednesday include large firms like cosmetics chain Sephora, property development and management organization Midroc Europe and a government entity, the German-based City of Hamburg, Port Authority.
More information on Office 365 can be found on Microsoft.