Microsoft has launched Office 365, a cloud service that brings together Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online.
Designed for business users, Microsoft said the new product will make working with different devices and collaborating with colleagues securely easier. It has also opened a beta programme in 13 countries.
Kurt DelBene, president of the Office Division at Microsoft, said: "With Office 365, your local bakery can get enterprise-calibre software and services for the first time, while a multinational pharmaceutical company can reduce costs and more easily stay current with the latest innovations."
Small businesses with less than 25 employees can be up and running with Office Web Apps, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online and an external website in just 15 minutes, for $6 a month, according to the software giant.
Meanwhile, Office 365 for enterprises offers lots of choice for midsize and large businesses which could cost $2 per user per month for basic e-mail. Microsoft said it also gives companies the offer to get Microsoft Professional Plus desktop software on a pay-as-you-go basis, ‘for the first time ever'.
Microsoft will bundle Office Professional Plus, e-mail, voicemail, enterprise social networking, instant messaging, web portals, extranets, voice conferencing and video conferencing, web conferencing, 24x7 phone support and on-premises licenses for $24 per user per month, it said.
The software giant said it will begin testing the product with a few thousand organisations in 13 countries immediately but the finished product will be available worldwide ‘next year'.
Looking ahead, Microsoft said Office 365 will expand "to include Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to provide Microsoft's complete business productivity experience to organizations of all types and sizes."