Feeds

Microsoft prices services for the email-poor

No hands, new blinkers

High performance access to file storage

Microsoft is targeting the email disenfranchised with a suite of cut-down email and online collaboration services priced at $3 per user a month.

The company has announced Exchange Online Deskless Worker and SharePoint Online Deskless Worker featuring calendar, Outlook Web Access Light to access corporate email, anti-virus, anti-spam, and search and read-only access to online SharePoint documents. The services were announced today at Microsoft's annual worldwide partner conference in Houston, Texas.

Stephen Elop, president of Microsoft's business division, said the two sets of services mean employees currently not participating in corporate email or collaboration could do so for the price of a latte each month.

Elop clearly hasn't heard Starbucks is planning to close 600 stores and axe seven per cent of its workforce, as consumer growth has slowed.

For those not on the shop floor, those Microsoft calls "information workers", the company is making versions of its server-based software available as services for the price of a small coffee run: $15 per user per month. Microsoft is offering Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Communications Online and Office Live Meeting as a suite or individually.

Microsoft will host these services with partners doing the selling. In return partners will get 12 per cent of the first-year's contract price and six per cent of the ongoing subscription fees. According to Elop, Coca-Cola and Nokia are among Microsoft customers who've made "commitments" to online collaboration

According to Elop, Microsoft is offering customers a choice of running client/server versions of its server software in addition to hosted services. Championing Microsoft's "software plus services" agenda, Elop dismissed the message from Salesforce.com among others pushing purely software as a service.

Addressing his first Microsoft World Wide Partner Summit, Elop said e had his "Silicon Valley blinkers on" the first time he heard of software-plus-services, as "it sounded like a rationalization". However, "customers are actually telling us they need diversity to resolve complexity of their business through choice".

Elop previously served as Juniper Networks' chief operating officer replaced Microsoft veteran Jeff Raikes in January as head of Microsoft's business division.

"There are self-proclaimed industry luminaries who will say software is dead, companies with a red logo, a circle with a slash through it," he said.

"This reminds me of my son riding his new bicycle who's going down the driveway and saying: 'Dad, look no hands' and there's a 15 foot hole there. There will be software on client devices."

Microsoft is launching the services to keep the combined offering of Salesforce.com and Google out of the enterprise. Microsoft expects customers will purchase a regular Exchange or SharePoint license for their information workers and while paying subscriptions for its other users.

SharePoint Online Deskless Worker will appeal to those who want a portal-based approach to delivering important work documents to all workers. Exchange Online Deskless Worker could suffer in comparison to things like Google mail and calendars though, as customers will be paying for deliberately limited functionality such as a one-day calendar view.

Microsoft said Exchange Online Deskless Worker is designed to let companies talk to employees, rather than have employees use their email as "a core tool". ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.