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Office 365 Goes to Public Beta

Eventually it will also include Dynamics CRM

Microsoft has sent Office 365, the cloud version of its multibillion-dollar Office franchise, out to public beta for anyone to try.

Ultimately enterprise deals will range from $2 - for e-mail only - to $27a user a month with a 99.9 SLA - which is more expensive than Google Apps, Microsoft's biggest competitor, but includes hosted versions of Exchange e-mail, Lync IM, SharePoint collaboration, Forefront security, online storage and of course the Office Web Apps, which work with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari.

Eventually it will also include Dynamics CRM.

It will cost $6 a seat a month for companies with less than 25 users.

Office 365 is supposedly about six months from launch and there is now an Office 365 marketplace or app store with 100 third-party apps and 400 professional services.

Google Apps is supposed to be used in roughly 20% of U.S. companies in some form or another although Microsoft claims it's not getting anywhere near real traction because Google's consumer widgetry doesn't have the enterprise wherewithal. Meanwhile Microsoft is supposedly making mincemeat of IBM's Notes franchise.

Google's App Marketplace has around 300 apps.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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