Microsoft must deliver a clear vision of Office 365 to customers. Why should they opt for its productivity suite over all others? What sets this apart from its standard Office and other solutions that can replace it? Without a clear vision articulated to customers, Microsoft will be unable to make Office 365 a success.
Last year, when Microsoft announced Office 365, a cloud-based version of Office, the company said that it wanted to bring a new full-powered productivity solution to companies and educational institutions that would best the competition. Over the last several months, it has allowed beta testers to try out the service to determine if it achieved that goal. Now, after a long wait, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer plans to officially launch Office 365 on June 28. And when he does so, he will be ushering in a new era in Microsoft's business. However, whether or not Office 365 will succeed is still an unknown. Unlike Windows or Microsoft's standard Office product, its latest entry isn't a sure bet. Channel partners are reluctant to push Office 365 because Microsoft plans to handle the billing itself. And enterprise and educational institutions will need to determine if Office 365 is even right for them. Will it have all the features it needs to be worth it? Can Microsoft take Office to the cloud successfully? Here's a look at what Microsoft's Office 365 will need to succeed in today's increasingly competitive cloud-based productivity-solutions market.
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
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