Despite this week containing a major holiday in many parts of the world, there was still a fair amount of activity in the world of Office 365. Here's a look at some of the major stories from this week.
Microsoft (News - Alert) secured another sizable Office 365 contract in Australia with Service Stream, a company that has serviced 6,000 mobile phone tower sites and delivered one million NBN connections in the country. According to the company's CIO, Craig Wishart, Office 365 was the best fit for Service Stream's overall IT strategy.
"Office 365 allows for agility, enabling us to mobilize our team faster, and begin delivery to our customers sooner," said Wishart. "Should we need 500 new mailboxes tomorrow, it’s a few clicks away, without delays for capacity assessments or procurement.”
Meanwhile, Google Apps has managed to gain traction in the cloud productivity space, capturing more large customers than previously as the suite matures. Of course, the suite's lower price point at $50 per user per year, compared to Office 365's starting price of $72, is a big factor in its recent success.
Despite this, Microsoft's general manager in its business division, Julia White, stated that Google (News - Alert) “has not yet shown they are truly serious. From the outside, they are an advertising company.” Still, the fact is that Google Apps and Office 365 may be evenly matched going into 2013.
It's not a clear-cut case of Google gaining traction, though, as Microsoft has made a major play for the SMB market by extending the free trial period of its Office 365 Small Business offering. Until the end of February 2013, small businesses can try Office 365 free for 90 days rather than the standard 30 days.
This extended free trial comes days after Google's announcement that it will begin charging new customers for its small business Google Apps offering, which may lead more small businesses to choose Office 365 instead.
Lastly, Microsoft Research recently began working on a GPS solution that should reduce power consumption in mobile devices, extending battery life. This is accomplished by offloading the heavy number crunching GPS units typically perform to the cloud.
This GPS unit, called Cloud-Offloaded GPS (CO-GPS), helps to cut down on what is, according to Microsoft Research, the biggest drain on energy in mobile electronics. With CO-GPS, one can theoretically get constant GPS sensing for a year and a half with one measurement per second granularity using two AA batteries.
That's all for this week in review. Check out the main Office 365 Channel for more news in this sector!
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