Now that Google has started charging for Google Apps for Small Business (see here), it would appear that Microsoft has seized on the opportunity to loosen Google’s grip on the small business email and productivity tools market. Before any Google Apps users get too excited, it will remain free for current users and individuals too. However that free version will no longer provide Google Sync which is Google’s implementation of Active Sync.
Microsoft Office 365 90 Day Trial for Small Business
In response Microsoft have started offering a 90 day free trial for its small business customers. That’s a very welcome piece of news for Microsoft Partners and another tool in their armory. Its has been difficult to compete with free when you are helping your customers to compare options and there is nothing that annoys me more than a lazy business that has a mix of emails @gmail.com or yahoo.com etc. But getting them to move from their free systems can be a challenge.
Google Apps will now cost you $50 per user per year whereas Office 365 for Small Business will cost $6 per user per month or $72 per user per year.
We cover the comparisons and virtues of each elsewhere but lets admit it, they are now within $12 of each other and its my opinion that Microsoft’s offering is well worth that little extra when you consider the inclusion of web app versions of the popular Office suite just for starters. This includes the brilliant and often under rated OneNote Web App.
Microsoft Office on iPhone and iPad
If that doesn’t convince you, the rumors are growing stronger that this subscription and other Office 365 subscriptions may give you access to an iPhone and iPad version of Microsoft Office that are coming down the pike.. That will make the Office 365 platform even more compelling and will be a very interesting move by Microsoft. I cant wait!