Microsoft Office 365 is a product that brings Microsoft Office, Microsoft Sharepoint Online, Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft Lync Online all available to a user via various devices. Microsoft Office 365 was previously available on trial basis across African markets, but today’s announcement was the mark of commencement of the move to commercial for the Kenyan market. Office 365 is now available in three countries in Africa, these being Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, reason being these are the three countries with a good broadband coverage. Office 365 will be a service hosted in the cloud, and will be available to users as long as you are connected to the internet. It’s billable at a monthly cost as opposed to what it previously was on Microsoft Office 2010 and previous versions that had to be installed in servers and workstations.
Microsoft Office 365 use does not mean that users will change anything in the way they interfaced with Office tools, same interfaces but only access which will be via internet connection. Office 365 promises reliability, security features and IT controls needed in cloud.
Microsoft is also working on a partner ecosystem around Office 365 in Kenya. Hosting firms and telecommunications are some of the players to gain in these partnerships where they will integrate Office 365 with existing services like web hosting, internet connections and financial solutions. Billing of Office 365 will be on a Pay-as-you-go starting from a monthly $4 per user for basic email. Microsoft Office Professional Plus desktop software will be available for purchase by enterprises on a Pay-as-you-go basis. Pricing will start at $20 per user per month where the organizations will get office professional Plus, email, voicemail, enterprise social networking, instant messaging, web oirtals, extranet, vicdeo conferencing, on-premises licenses and 24/7 phone support.