Feeds

Microsoft prices services for the email-poor

No hands, new blinkers

Security for virtualized datacentres

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". ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.