Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Office365 - What's in a Name?

So you, thought you, might like to, go to the Cloud, To feel the warm thrill of confusion... slightly changed from the Pink Floyd song In the Flesh from the album The Wall

By now you have heard about the Microsoft announcement, not Ray Ozzie "retiring", but the Office 365. Gartner had this to say about the office 365 announcement. Quick damage control by Microsoft it seems.

There is a UK company called Office 365, wonder if Microsoft will pay them for the use of their name. Hopefully they have that name copyrighted and cleared.

So BPOS is now DOA, renamed, excuse me, rebranded, as Office 365.

Now is Microsoft trying to tell us that Office is really the end all be all of this offering? Hardly, but you know what is in a name is very interesting.

LotusLive has a nice ring to it, implies Lotus products are alive and kicking and active and not just any one in particular.

Office 365 in contrast shows a primary target of Office, naturally there is more included but the name is odd.

Maybe Ray suggested before he retired that if Microsoft could find a way to have everyone use their Office suite 365 days a year they might have something.

On the other hand, BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite)was not something easier to roll off the tongue. Quite a mouthful. Very descriptive though.

So what happened to Sharepoint 365? Or SQL 365? Shame 2011 isn't a leap year, that would have been fun. So expect another rebranding in 2012.

Long term thinking? Of course not, since when did Microsoft ever think long term?

Microsoft has upped the ante by having Office 365 utilize the 2010 versions of Sharepoint, Exchange and OCS which is now called Lync.

I figure we will hear about OfficeLync 365 sometime down the road. Most likely as a ploy against IBM's LotusLive offerings.

IBM has not been quiet either, slight tweaking of the offerings has produced some impressive options and cheaper than Microsoft and Google's offerings.

IBM isn't giving the world away for free, but if LotusLive Notes is $5 a head per month that is an offer well worth thinking about. Larger quantity customers get better pricing but still at this price your sad infrastructure may just be able to get everything it needs to stay on the cutting edge of Lotus and your IT staff can go home at night earlier since they no longer have to patch Operating Systems.

Microsoft is not making Office cheap. If you want full Office,, Office 365 is a partial functional version, the full price is an extra $8 a month! So you will pay for Office 2007 or 2010 on desk and another $96 per year for it in the Cloud? OUCH!

Lotus Symphony is not in the Cloud yet, it's free for anyone to use on their machines. When it hits the Cloud, will it still be free? Even if it isn't, it's a great deal.

It will be an interesting run to the finish and neither company will sit still or be happy with the other winning. But from a customer perspective it is all good no matter what you choose.
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