Microsoft on Tuesday announced the first major service update for its Office 365 cloud computing service and touted its early successes, especially with small businesses. Additionally, Office 365 is now available in another 22 markets.
"We are seeing really positive momentum for Office 365," Microsoft Office Division President Kurt DulBene said. "Customers are adopting Office 365 eight times faster than our previous service, and the solution is on track to become one of our fastest-growing offers in Microsoft history."
Microsoft says that the service is seeing particular success with small businesses: Currently, over 90 percent of Office 365 subscribers are small businesses with 50 or fewer employees.
Office 365 provides cloud-hosted versions of Exchange (email, calendar, contacts, tasks), SharePoint (document collaboration), and Lync (communications) for a monthly per-user subscription fee. A version of Office 365 for small businesses costs $6 per user per month, for example.
Microsoft also announced a number of enhancements to Office 365, including:
Lync for Mac. Mac users can now use Office 365's instant messaging, presence, and video conferencing functionality via a Lync for Mac client.
New SharePoint Business Connectivity Services. This enhancement brings SharePoint Online closer to the functionality of the on-premises version of SharePoint, with support for line-of-business (LOB) applications.
Windows Phone 7.5 support. You can seamlessly access SharePoint Online documents from the latest version of Windows Phone.
For more information about Office 365, and a free 30-day trial, visit the Office 365 website. Microsoft also supplied the following interesting infographic: