Speaking at the Confederation of Indian Industry Cloud Summit last Thursday, Steve Ballmer revealed that Microsoft's Office 365 cloud service will launch in June.
While there is still no firm official launch date from Microsoft, 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."
Ballmer also spoke about Skype's position in Microsoft's cloud services. "...if about 200 million people who use Skype today to be able to talk to people at work and vice versa [you have to] be able to count on integration with your corporate systems when you're working inside the enterprise, to count on the security inside the enterprise, but then to be able to reach out in some of the same kinds of scenarios with your customers across Skype."
He stated that Microsoft has done a lot of work on cloud infrastructure particularly with Windows Azure and SQL Azure in the public cloud. He also spoke on the concerns of businesses with the cloud, "Many companies are saying, I can't go to the public cloud exactly yet or I can't go for all of my applications; we have too much concern about privacy and security and reliability." He addressed those concerns by pointing out the advantages of low-cost management and ease of deploying applications in the cloud back to the enterprise datacenter.
Ballmer reinforced Microsoft's focus on cloud computing. "This cloud computing phenomenon will drive growth, it will enable businesses to use IT more productively, and it will enable growth in the IT sector."
PCMag contacted Microsoft representatives to confirm the launch date of Office 365. So far there has been no comment, but representatives promised to look into it. This article will be updated with any new information.
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