Last night we officially announced Office 365, which is the next generation of cloud services – bringing together Exchange 2010, SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Lync (previously known as Office Communications Server) and Office (on both the web and your PC). And the good news is that there will be an education specific version of it.
As with most of our announcements, the product release is scheduled for next year although we haven’t announced dates, but we did announce a public beta programme that you can sign up to and start using.
Here’s some of the key information, summarised from mass of data published on the web:
Microsoft Office 365 brings together cloud versions of our most trusted communications and collaboration products with the latest version of our desktop software and companion Web Apps. Office 365 is designed to meet the needs of organisations of all sizes — from independent professionals to small, midsize and large businesses and from government agencies to educational institutions — helping them save time, money and free up valued resources.
Cloud-based services for educational institutions can help save money and give students access to familiar, next-generation productivity tools — while helping educational institutions free up resources. By eliminating the time and effort spent managing servers, IT staff can deliver the latest services to students while still maintaining control.
And the good news is that this is now the roadmap for Live@edu, as we expand it well beyond the email system that many people use today.