SMB Office 365 release date confirmed

Office 365 logo
Office 365 logo

Cloud-based Microsoft Office offering for small business users coming next month

Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer has announced the release of a new SMB-focused Office 365 offering.

The software giant released its Office 2013 and Office 365 Home Premium products on 29 January, although it had been available to some enterprise customers since October 2012.

In a blog post, Ballmer hailed the arrival of Office 365 Home Premium, which is the consumer version of its online business productivity suite.

“Subscribers receive all the full-featured Office applications they know and love, together with impressive new cloud and social benefits built in.

“People will love instant access to all their documents and settings across devices and how Office takes full advantage of the new Windows 8 touch interface,” he said.

Ballmer also announced further business-focused improvements to Office 365, which will be released on 27 February.

“Since we launched Office 365 for business only 18 months ago, one in five of our enterprise customers now has the service, up from 1 in 7 a year ago. Smaller businesses are also choosing Office 365 at a rapid pace, with a 150 per cent increase in the number of small and medium-sized businesses using the service over the past 12 months.

“These businesses will get to enjoy the new Office 365 for business beginning 27 February,” Ballmer said.

Ballmer told Bloomberg Businessweek he expects the number of Office users to continue growing beyond the one billion mark.

“That is...the miracle of economic development, isn’t it? More and more people enter the class of information workers ... and [get] more jobs where they work with information every day,” he said.

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