Microsoft Ships Office Live Preview

The Office Live preview will open Wednesday to 100,000 beta participants, Microsoft said. During the beta, the services will be free, but when the final versions appear later this year, some of the offerings will be fee- or subscription fee-based.

Office Live will be available in three service levels. The first, Office Live Basics, includes a free (but advertiser-supported) Web site, domain name, and five email addresses. The second service level is called Microsoft Office Live Collaboration. It will charge a subscription fee and is a solution for small businesses that already have a Web site and domain but want to take advantage of the Office Live business applications and various intranet/extranet experiences. The third service level is a high-end offering called Office Live Essentials. This top-tier Office Live service includes the Web site, domain name, and email addresses and also offers more storage and a total of 50 email accounts, as well as the business applications and intranet/extranet offerings. Essentials customers can use the email accounts in unique ways; for example, accounts might be created for aliases for sales or support, and messages to those accounts will be automatically forward to specific people in the company.

I've written a preview of Office Live for the SuperSite for Windows, but I've been working with the beta code and will soon post a second preview that focuses on my hands-on experience with the services. Stay tuned.

TAGS: Windows 8
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