Battling to keep to a clear course on cloud computing, Microsoft may have finally found its way with the beta launch of Office 365. Attempts at engineering their own cloud computing community have so far been scattershot, yielding a variety of online services such as Office Web Apps and Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). Office 365, however, will enable subscribers to access all the Microsoft Office Web applications with which they are already familiar, as well as a new set of web-only tools, all on the user’s existing hardware.
Available for an annual fee of $72, Office 365 may hold particular benefits for small businesses, enabling them to access their email, calendar, contacts, Excel projects, instant messages, and more, from anywhere they have Internet access.
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