Microsoft's Exchange Server, Office, and other productivity tools are the lifeblood of many businesses. Yet, taking advantage of all that Microsoft offers requires a considerable investment in software and hardware infrastructure, as well as in IT staffers who have the skills to manage the setup. But not any more, thanks to Office 365, which becomes available to the public in beta, testing form today.
Office 365 delivers business tools in a cloud-based, software-as-a-service package. Customers receive the same applications and productivity software--including the desktop Office Professional Plus--while leaving the cost and hassle of maintaining infrastructure to Microsoft. I've had an opportunity to work with the Office 365 beta. Let's take a hands-on look at what the package has to offer for company managers.