Office 365: To the Cloud and Beyond

The following is a post from Kurt DelBene, President, Microsoft Office Division.

Today we are celebrating a significant milestone with our latest release of Microsoft Office 365.

When we first set out to build this release of Office, we knew it would be the boldest yet. We wanted to create that “over-the-shoulder envy” that makes your friend or the guy sitting next to you on the plane ask what you’re using. In a recent survey, 96 percent of people who were asked said they’d recommend Office to a friend. With the new Office 365 services we know that customers will enjoy entirely new benefits and unique scenarios that only come alive in the cloud.

This ambitious release comes at an exciting time. Ongoing feedback from customers helps us deeply understand the role we can play in delivering new technology and innovations that will transform the modern workplace and help people manage increasingly busy lives.

One thing we see is that workplaces must be increasingly dynamic, helping people quickly make connections to information and each other. That’s why the new Office has social at its core — with Yammer, Skype, Facebook, LinkedIn and SharePoint. It’s why we’ve unlocked new communications scenarios with Lync HD multiparty videoconferencing today, and we can imagine a world in the not-too-distant future where Office makes working remotely feel as natural as being in the same room with someone.

People are also flooded with information — and it’s only getting worse. They need help making sense of it all. That’s why the new Office includes data analysis and visualization tools in Excel, such as Flash Fill PowerPivot, and Power View — so you can quickly illustrate the business insight from the sea of business data. It’s why we envision a world where Office uses contextual computing to gather, prioritize and put the information you need right at your fingertips.

Also it’s clear the lines between home and work are blurring. People want technology that helps them seamlessly transition between their busy work and home lives. That’s why you can now get Office 365 as a subscription service on up to five devices, so your documents and personalized settings roam with you, and you can quickly pick up where you left off.

Today is just the beginning. The shift to services provides countless opportunities to delight our customers in ways we haven’t dreamt about before, and we’re excited to take this bold step forward together. In the coming years, we believe that most, if not all, Office customers will choose to subscribe given the benefits and unique scenarios that only come alive in the cloud. In the meantime, we are uniquely positioned to provide our customers with unmatched choice and flexibility by offering traditional client and server versions of our products, in addition to the new Office services.

It’s been an amazing journey, and we want to thank you for your partnership along the way. We developed this release with your unique needs in mind, so please go here to try it and let us know what you think!