As of today, Microsoft has expanded the Office 365 beta to the world. I have been playing with a beta release of Office 365 for a few months now, and now you can too.
I realize that many swear by Google Apps, but I prefer Microsoft Office. It is what I am used to. It is what I am comfortable with. It is the ‘standard’ that the world recognizes and runs on. Don’t believe me? Try making a Google Docs or OpenOffice that is completely separate from and incompatible with Microsoft Office and see how well it does.
Still, there is something to be said for the universal access of a cloud-based solution like Google Apps, and most small and medium businesses don’t have the budget or IT personnel required to implement a complete Microsoft communications and productivity suite. Until now.
Office 365 provides small business customers (up to 50 users) with Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Lync Online, as well as access to the suite of Office Web apps for only $6 per user per month. Check out the Office 365 beta and see if the service is right for your communications and productivity needs.