Today in Cloud

Microsoft’s online adjunct to their market-dominating Office productivity suite has been in beta for a while, and it looks as if a formal launch is now due within the month. Mary-Jo Foley cited sources inside the company last week in suggesting that the product’s code is pretty well finished. Jon Brodkin over at InfoWorld published a piece overnight in which he claims that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer let the date slip in a presentation to an industry group in Delhi last week. Brodkin points to a Microsoft transcript of the speech, in which Ballmer is reported to say “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.” As I noted when the beta became available, Microsoft Office already has incredibly strong brand recognition, and Office 365 will play well with those customers. Whether it will persuade anyone to move off cloud-based competitors like Google Apps or Zoho remains to be seen.