Tuesday, 15 February 2011

What will Office 365 be? Microsoft's take on the Cloud

Microsoft is producing a full spectrum of Cloud services which will included productivity, collaboration, business and management as well as Azue platform and data services. Office 365 will be cloud services targeted towards three key areas:

Productivity: Office in the Cloud
Communication: Office Live and Office Exchange in the Cloud
Collaboration: Office Live Meeting and SharePoint in the Cloud

Office Live Meeting and Office Communication will become Microsoft Lync Online.

The four pieces of Office 365 will be Office, Sharepoint, Exchange, and Lync. Together these three will provide a Cloud solution to SMEs which will provide document creation, communication in real time and non-real time, meeting, and collaboration.

In more detail these services will provide all the key tools that most information workers need.

What Office 365 will not include is specific business tools such as CRM, BI or of LOB applications. Microsoft will provide other Cloud services for this, and in keeping with the Windows and .NET tradition you will be able to develop your own solutions and package them to be hosted in Windows Azure and to use SQL Azure for storage.

A happy surprise is that these packages are not limited to ASP.NET. You can develop applications in Ruby, PHP, or Java. I am a big fan of PHP because of its rapid development and like the idea that systems I may have developed in PHP can go to the Azure Cloud without migration to ASP.NET. PHP is not a strong typed language and would be difficult to migrate to ASP.NET.
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