Technology giant Microsoft announced the first major service update for Microsoft Office 365, the company’s cloud productivity service for businesses of all sizes. The service will also be available to try in 22 additional markets today, including Argentina, Iceland, Indonesia, South Africa and Taiwan. Microsoft is making more than 30 new updates to Office 365 to enhance collaboration and communication, and for SkyDrive, adding app-centric sharing for Office, file management and easier uploads with HTML5 based largely on customer feedback.
Features include support for Lync for Mac, allowing Mac users to use instant messaging, presence and videoconferencing through Office 365, new SharePoint Business Connectivity Services, which allow people to connect to information in their company’s critical line-of-business applications, such as customer relationship management or SAP software, and support for Windows Phone 7.5, with the ability to access and update documents in SharePoint Online from anywhere using a Windows Phone.
“We are seeing really positive momentum for Office 365. Customers are adopting Office 365 eight times faster than our previous service, and the solution is on track to become one of our fastest-growing offers in Microsoft history,” said Kurt DelBene, president of the office division at Microsoft. “We are also seeing great traction with small businesses, with more than 90 percent of our early Office 365 customers coming from small businesses.”
Among the new customers are Campbell Soup Company and Groupe Marie-Claire, a fashion magazine published in more than 30 countries. The company will use Office 365 to modernize the company’s email and collaboration capabilities, while moving away from legacy technology. Employees at Groupe Marie-Claire will be able to access email and share documents on a PC, Mac or various mobile devices with Office 365.
“We thoroughly evaluated other cloud productivity offerings in the market before choosing Microsoft. Office 365 is the right choice to help our company support the way people work today and encourage a more mobile work environment,” said Philippe Chapier, IT manager for Groupe Marie-Claire. “With the service, we have the added benefit of working together with familiar tools on almost any device and can make quicker decisions when needed.”