More and more applications and services are migrating from local storage to storage in the cloud. Cloud storage has some big advantages with no need to store files locally and easier access to them when on the go.
Microsoft is looking to the cloud for some of its productivity apps to compete with offerings like Google Docs. Microsoft announced in October of 2010 that it would be offering a new cloud-based version of its Office productivity software in 2011. So far, Microsoft hasn't been any more specific with the launch date of the Office 365 offering other than to say later in 2011.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told a group of analysts last week in India that the Office 365 platform would be launching this month. Ballmer said, "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 new Office 365 product will replace the Business Productivity Online Suite and will offer access to Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync communications. It will have both desktop and web-based productivity tools like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. There are 100,000 users already on Office 365 during the beta reports PCWorld.
Office 365 was said to be operable on multiple platforms in October of last year when it was announced. It will work on smartphones and the iPad for instance and on all major browsers.