(Stephen Parker, Head of Cloud Strategy)
Although Office365 (BPOS v2) and Windows InTune are not available outside betas until 2011 (best interweb guesses suggest end of Q1) they point the way to a seriously compelling option for customers, a challenging situation for providers of core Microsoft hosted services and an opportunity for partners who differentiate their offers to open new revenue streams.
Office365 will come in a variety of flavours but lets initially focus on the the E3 (Enterprise 3). For USD24 this will offer:
- Exchange Online (your email needs)
- Sharepoint Online (your document sharing needs)
- Lync Online (your conferencing needs)
- Office Web Apps (online view/editing of your documents)
- Office 2010 Pro Plus (rich client for email and documents whether online or not)
Now add Windows InTune that for USD11/month will offer:
- Desktop/Laptop management
- Windows 7 Pro
So for USD35/month/user they will be able to get their core business apps direct from Microsoft.
Opportunity/Threat/Both? It will depend on your point of view, your existing investments and your customers. But one thing is certain you will not be able to ignore it and if it isn’t Microsoft then it will be someone else.