Microsoft shutters Office 365's free web site service

Feature won't be replaced but price stays the same

Cher pointing, Cher point, Sharepoint

Microsoft is terminating its SharePoint Online Public Website service, effective January 2015.

SharePoint Online Public Website lets Office 365 users create a website and customise it with in-browser tools.

In an advisory posted on Friday, Microsoft explains that “As part of the evolution of the Office 365 service, we periodically evaluate the capabilities of the service to make sure that we’re delivering the utmost value to customers.”

“Today, we're making a difficult decision to discontinue the SharePoint Online Public Website feature. This lets us then focus on future investments while broadening our partnership with industry leaders.”

Microsoft will keep existing sites alive for two years, and Office 365 customers “will have the option to subscribe to third-party solutions by using links from Office 365.” Redmond's not naming who will offer those solutions, but says all will be revealed in January 2015 and that Office 365 customers will be offered generous pricing.

Microsoft also offers the following question and answer couplet, which despite its late appearance is a strong contender for corporate doublespeak of the year:

Q: Will the price for the affected Office 365 offers be reduced?

A: No. This change is aligned with our commitment to delivering a superior productivity experience in Office 365 and won't affect the pricing of Office 365.

In other words, we're giving you less and don't you dare complain.

Welcome to the cloud. ®

Bootnote: An explanation for the image. It's Cher, pointing. You'll figure it out.




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