Microsoft Enters Collaboration Hosting Arena
In a move that was likely a surprise to no-one, last week Microsoft announced its offering for hosted Exchange 2007, hosted SharePoint (MOSS 2007, not WSS 3.0), and hosted LiveMeeting.
This was the next logical progression from the Microsoft Office Live Small Business offering (where Microsoft offers domain hosting, web hosting, and web e-mail).
As a sort-of large scale alpha, Microsoft started with Live@Edu last year, providing Exchange services for educational institutions. Right now, the Microsoft Online service is in a limited beta, with an expectation of being available "later this year".
Microsoft says that this will be offered through the partner channel and not through direct sales. Price points haven't been made public yet, but one has to wonder what this is going to do to the established hosted Exchange partners?
Regardless of which - you have to suspect that Microsoft is uniquely qualified to offer hosting with these more complicated products. Hosting of Exchange and MOSS is not simple (trust me - I've done it for years) and the infrastructure can be complicated to maintain and update. It will be interesting to see whether Microsoft can pull this off as well, or better (or worse!), than the existing partner ecosystem.
For more (much more) information, click Microsoft Online!
There is also a new MSOnline blog. They list a whole slew of resources here.
Until next time...
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