November 15, 2006 9:20 AM PST

Office Live exits beta

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Microsoft tries to lure 'mom and pop' companies

October 30, 2006
A correction was made to this story. Read below for details.

Microsoft's Office Live has shed its beta.

The Internet-based software for businesses, which offers features such as Web site building and hosting, e-mail accounts and customer management tools, became generally available in the United States on Wednesday morning. It had been in beta since February 15.

In addition to the free Basics version, Microsoft is selling premium versions with more services for a monthly subscription fee: Microsoft Office Live Essentials for $20 per month and Microsoft Office Live Premium for $40 per month. The software is available via the Office Live site.

As part of the release, Microsoft announced that Toshiba and Sony notebooks and laptops will come bundled with a desktop link to Office Live and other Office Live links from within relevant Web tools. An international beta version of Office Live was also scheduled to be released Wednesday in the U.K., France, Japan and Germany, but Microsoft has since pushed that release date back to Nov. 21.

Office Live is part of Microsoft's broader strategy to compete with Google and others now offering Web-based applications. Microsoft Office Live's AdManager, for example, is a direct competitor with Google Adwords; it allows people to purchase keywords tied to search advertising on the MSN and Live.com sites.

The technological shift to Web-based applications and services will be the most significant development of the decade, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said at the company's annual shareholders meeting Tuesday. Ballmer also said he sees Microsoft's online services arm as the company's "fourth core," alongside desktop software, server software and entertainment.

 
Correction: Due to incorrect information provided by Microsoft, the original version of this story included the wrong date for the international beta release of Office Live. That release date is November 21.

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Microsoft Office Live, beta, Microsoft Office, web-based application, Steve Ballmer

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SO, JUST WHAT IS NEW!
As this article reads; "The technological shift to Web-based applications and services will be the most significant development of the decade, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said at the company's annual shareholders meeting Tuesday. Ballmer also said he sees Microsoft's online services arm as the company's "fourth core," alongside desktop software, server software and entertainment...."; So, just what is new since LOTUS DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (now part of IBM first dabbled with LOTUS KONA in the late 1990's; re: "One overriding theme - Lotus has taken the Internet to heart and is upgrading all its software to make it as Net-friendly as possible.

"We're really serious about this stuff," said Lotus VP Mike Zisman, at a Java strategy briefing. Lotus appears fully committed to what's become the standard programming language of the Internet with some 300 Java program developers on board along with hundreds more at parent company IBM..."

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.morochove.com/watch/cw/ff70206.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.morochove.com/watch/cw/ff70206.htm</a>

The thing is, in no way Microsoft could not have been aware of presence of "Windows-OS/2 based Lotus Kona" (for Microsoft's Chief Executive Steve Ballmer to say; "The technological shift to Web-based applications and services will be the most significant development of the decade"); and, the company, along with IBM is sure to give companies such as GOOGLE, YAHOO, SALESFORCE... a run for their money when it comes to the Web Services business; if not now, in the very near future...; that this attempt at the offering web-based applications is nothing new just what will Microsoft's "Office Live" offer that "LOTUS KONA" (which was apparently ahead of its time) did not!
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
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I guess the news is
no one really cares about Lotus anymore, its a dead horse stop beating it.
Posted by FutureGuy (742 comments )
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Mindless at Microsoft
Here we go again. Another clueless quote from the mindless at Microsoft. Steve Ballmer (who else?) let loose with this beauty at a shareholders meeting recently. "The technological shift to Web-based applications and services will be the most significant development of the decade". Truth? Absolutely! But my question is, why did it take Microsoft this long to realize/admit this? After all, the decade is rapidly approaching the 3/4 mark.

Unless you're drinking the Microsoft lemonade, you know the answer. Of course Microsoft knew it, but how could they admit it? They had no strategy, no product, to compete. So they hoped by looking the other way, everyone else would too. Nice try, but just like Microsoft's over priced, average software, it's too little, too late.

I've said it for years. Microsoft is not a software company, they are a marketing company, first and foremost. That worked fine when there were no alternatives to the Microsoft monopoly. When they lied to us, what was your recourse? But those days are gone, and the Microsoft business model is crumbling. Welcome to the web-centric world Microsoft. Let us know if you get relevant again.

I'm Guessing ©2006
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Posted by imguessing (14 comments )
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Ignorance at Microsoft-haters' world
Here we go again. Another ignorant comment against Microsoft. Microsoft-haters (who else?) do this all the time. Why did it take Microsoft this long to realize/admit this? Maybe because it was never so clear as it is now and Microsoft emplyees are humans, not robots. Unless you too blind to see it, you know that it's true. What stupid company would know about such thing and do nothing waiting for the rivals to go ahead? If they had no strategy, no product to compete, how come all of a sudden they come up with so many good and productive web applications? To believe on that is live in a fantasy world. If Microsoft software is over priced and average the you have to explain why is it market-leading and if it would be too little, too late, Microsoft Web-based applications such as Office Online wouldn't be having such good reviews (Cnet, for instance) and being used by so many people. Oh, imguessing said something for years, I can't imagine why stupid analysts and Microsoft share-holders didn't hear you. If Microsoft is first and foremost a marketing company, how can many of their products (Windows, Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, Office, etc.) be market leaders when everybody says that Microsoft, unlike Apple, knows nothing about good marketing? You should check the definition of monopoly before saying there was ever a Microsoft monopoly and if you're trying to say they don't work fine anymore you have to explain to how they keep increasing their profits. And you should give examples of Microsoft lying instead of just shooting that in the air, every company lies. You say Microsoft business is crumbling (I've been hearing that since Windows 98 was released), yet their results keep getting better and better every year, how intriguing. Welcome to the real world, Microsoft-hater. Let us know if you get open-minded again (if you ever were). I'm just being realistic.
Posted by Ryo Hazuki (378 comments )
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