Microsoft Online Services

Couple of years back I was looking for an affordable SharePoint hosted services provider mainly to set up a DEMO site. Unfortunately I couldn’t implement that idea due to many reasons, mainly the cost.
Not surprisingly last year Microsoft announced the launch of Online services for few products including SharePoint. Recently I had the chance to  test this as we just started implementing this for internal use. Online services are offered as a product suite called BPOS (Business Productivity Online Standard Suite) as well as individual products including Dynamics CRM Online, Office Live Meeting, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, Office Communications Online, and System Center Online Desktop Manager.
SharePoint Online is offered in two versions standard and dedicated. The standard version is a shared version (meaning that it is not hosted in a dedicated server). And it lacks some of the enterprise functionality such as mysites, incoming emails, forms services, excel services, content sources, business data search etc.. This review on cmswire is a good starting point for anyone interested.
There is a 30 day trial available so you can start a test run anytime. Further last week Microsoft reduced pricing for the Business Productivity Online Suite, which is now US$10 per user per month, with a five seat minimum purchase, which seems very attractive. 


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