Microsoft has launched the public beta of Office 365 the major component of its "all in" strategy for cloud computing. Microsoft's main rival in cloud computing is Google.
Analysts says the introduction is in keeping with Microsoft's tradition of launching large-scale betas for its products, which probably works better to weed out bugs and other issues ahead of the general release.
The Office 365 beta would be available across 38 markets and 17 languages. It joins the league of Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online.
The service is priced at $6 per user per month and additionally Microsoft is launching the Office 365 Marketplace, featuring more than 100 productivity apps and offering 400 professional services.
The software giant had originally launched Office 365 in limited beta in October 2010, and at the time announced general availability would come sometime in 2011.
According to industry commentators, the platform is basically a rebranded version of the company's BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite), which bundled products such as SharePoint Online.