Microsoft picks Exchange and Sharepoint for the online draft
Inching towards hosted collaboration
Microsoft appears to be stuffing its rapidly growing data centers with hosted versions of core collaboration applications for businesses customers.
Bill Gates, Microsoft's chairman, today announced beta availability of an online version of SharePoint Server and Exchange email. It should be generally available, paid for by subscription, by the end of 2008 if "all goes well".
Businesses are invited to become guinea pigs by signing up to SharePoint Online and Exchange Online through the Microsoft Online Services site here, ahead of that general availability.
Also pitched into the MOS mix was pricing and availability details for Exchange services covering filtering, encryption, continuity and archiving, and Live Meeting, Microsoft's white boarding and conferencing system for Office.
Pricing for Exchange services begins at $1.75 for an organization with five users, while Live Meeting begins at $4.48 per user per month.
Inevitably, there was no word from Gates on the fate of Microsoft's Office cash cow. It is also unclear how these services will compete or work with Office Live, the collection of services that lets users view, comment, and edit Office documents. Microsoft said SharePoint Online and Exchange Online are suited to organizations with more than 5,000 users.
Monday's fanfare-free announcement at a relatively obscure Microsoft event indicates the degree of caution at Microsoft over such hosted offerings, despite prodding from fans of Google's collaboration services and the Web 2.0 crowd. Of course, the company is building data centers, apparently in anticipation of services coming online.®
So... you got in the sack with MS and thought you could just have a nice chat? Silly you!
MS have always used their partners as cannon fodder. Get the partners to spill their blood on the bleeding edge, then step in and take the business for their own when they figure out how it works.
They've done that since MSDOS days, screwing over the early applications developers, Lotus, Borland, anti-virus folk.
Why would you think you'd be spared?
Licence costs ??
DR, I think your calculations are forgetting MS license charges for the exchange CALs.
No doubt this is different for US pricing too !
get a new business
so MS can use their software to host the services that you offer??
how is this any different from if I set up a hosted service providing email and such?
from what I've seen most hosted services are a rip off anyway
e.g 1&1 offer 1 exchange mail box for £5.99 per month (£7 after VAT) it's the same price in dollars actually on the .com site!
there is no way it costs this amount to host mail boxes...
perhaps you should look at your business and pricing structure and ammend where needed to make the pricess more fair.
competative industry my arse, it's all about who's willing to run the most streamlined business and provide the best deal to staff...
by my fag packet calculations
1 mail box = £5 per month.
you might pay £5000 a year to upgrade infrastructure and software
and your 1 admin to rn your 1 server might cost £25,000 a year.
total costs are £30,000 a year so you only need 500 customers to make your one server pay off. and pay your admin.
now how about you have 2 servers.
total costs = £35,000 a year
now you only need 584 customers,
why not just restructure your priceing scheme? there are saving that can be made.
plus if you actually offered customers a fair deal, you'd find that you'd sell the service a hell of a lot more as well.
(fag packet calculations are notoriously innaccurate and neglect hosting costs, administrative staff etc. but also i suspect exchange email hosting isn't your only business).
either way the message is clear, either adapt your business and pricing structure or die (as a business).