It may be close to the holidays, but Office 365's momentum hasn't wavered one bit as there were many Office 365-related headlines this past week. Here's a look at some of the highlights.
Google's (News - Alert) cloud productivity suite, Google Apps, is no longer going to be free to small businesses as the company said most companies grow out of the basic version very quickly. This change will not affect current business customer nor individuals, however, who can still enjoy Google Apps for free.
This may prove a boon to Microsoft (News - Alert), which hasn't hesitated to turn this into a real advantage by extending Office 365 Small Business' free trial from 30 to 90 days. Meanwhile, Google and Microsoft's small business productivity offerings are now much nearer in price.
Microsoft also had trouble with another tech rival this week: Apple. Apple's (News - Alert) policy of taking a 30-percent cut of in-app purchases has rubbed the Office 365 provider the wrong way. Conflict over this has delayed updates to Microsoft's iOS SkyDrive app.
The real dispute lies with the upcoming Office suite for iOS, however, with Microsoft unwilling to give up 30 percent of its Office 365 sales to Apple because subscriptions can be purchased outside of the Apple App Store. The only solution present at the moment is for Microsoft to cancel the in-app signup option.
CodeTwo, a provider of Microsoft Exchange and Outlook-based software solutions, recently launched a new Email Signature Manager. This program allows users to set a unified signature for their entire company in Outlook, OWA or Office 365. This opens up new branding possibilities for organizations using Office 365 and other cloud services.
Email Signature Manager requires an Active Directory domain connection, but doesn't need a local Exchange Server Installation.
Meanwhile, Telenor signed a new global syndication agreement with Microsoft that allows the former to sell licenses for Office 365 and other Microsoft services. This makes Telenor (News - Alert) one of the first telecom operators in the world to offer a telephony service within Lync Online.
“Through this agreement, we are expanding our provision of cloud computing services with a solution that covers the communication needs of companies in one single package. We think this will satisfy a market need that is currently not being met,” said Telenor's manager of the business market, Bjorn Ivar Moen.
Lastly, 360Sync revealed that it will now provide small businesses with seamless over-the-air sync functionality for multiple devices at a reduced price point. The company helps businesses put professional email, website management, collaboration and communication services together in one place, while offering an integrated experience across devices.
360Sync's cloud-based solution includes such features as: voicemail, enterprise social networking, instant messaging, Web portals, extranets, videoconferencing, Web conferencing, on-premises licenses, and 24/7 phone support.
That's all for this week in review. Head over to the Office 365 Channel for more news in this sector.
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Edited by Braden Becker