Microsoft Holds Open Beta For Cloud Based Office
Microsoft is nearing its release of the new Office 365 cloud service and is currently allowing users to beta test it in up to 38 countries. The plan is to have Office 365 available later this year and to have the servers always running for instant access wherever Internet is available. Office 365 is an extension of Microsoft's Web Apps featuring Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, with new additions of Exchange and SharePoint. Once the free beta period expires, small business owners will be required to pay a monthly membership fee of $6 per account and larger businesses given the option of plans ranging from $10 to $27 per individual employee. Microsoft also plans to offer some rate plans for educational users as well, but pricing has not yet been made clear.