Microsoft has officially announced that it is going to launch its cloud-hosted application suite, Office 365 on June 28. Last week, CEO Steve Ballmer had confirmed its release somewhere in June, speaking to a press in India -
We're pushing hard in the productivity space. We'll launch our Office 365 cloud service, which gives you Lync and Exchange and SharePoint and Office and more as a subscribable service that comes from the cloud. That launches in the month of June.
The date of 28th June has been confirmed, with Ballmer heading the press meeting for the launch of Office 365. Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Partner Group Jon Roskill (in a Twitter post) says the Office 365 cloud productivity suite will be generally available starting on June 28, 2011. The tweet says:
June 28th is the date for General Availability of Office 365! > 100,000 real customers on beta…Partners, are you ready???
Office 365 will replace the existing Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) and include services as access to Exchange, SharePoint, the Lync unified communications suite, and both desktop and Web-based versions of Office tools such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. These similar services are also available with Google Apps. Office 365 is Microsoft's answer to Google Apps. The strong competition that Microsoft is facing with Google Apps might be the reason for Microsoft hurrying up with the release of Office 365.
Check out Office 365 Exclusive preview screenshots→
Microsoft has been quite aggressive about the promotion of Office 365. It is currently available in the beta stage which was released in April. Its beta has already attracted more than 100,000 customers. The product saw the mixed response from the users. Microsoft will be introducing some more features before it finally releases its finished version.