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Microsoft Slashes Office 365 Prices

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Office 365 prices dropped as Microsoft ups its cloud game

Microsoft has cut the cost of its cloud-based Office 365 productivity tool set, claiming its rapidly growing business was to thank for the reduction.

Prices are to come down by as much as 20 percent and will be effective for new and renewing customers. Launched last summer, Office 365 is Microsoft’s attempt to take on the likes of Google Apps, which has also been gaining a significant following in enterprise.

A growing platform

Despite Microsoft being somewhat late to the game, it has gained some interesting Office 365 customers, including Campbell Soup Company and Groupe Marie Claire.

The Redmond giant said it was thanks to the popularity of the service, as well as the way in which cloud works, that costs were to come down.

“As we rapidly add customers, the cost to run Office 365 becomes more efficient.  This is the beauty of the cloud where we can deliver economies of scale through our worldwide data centers and economies of skill with our engineers, administrators, and support teams operating the service,” said Kirk Koenigsbauer, from the Microsoft Office Division, in a blog post.

“With these efficiencies, we’re able pass on savings to make it even more affordable for customers of all sizes to move to Office 365.”

Office 365 for education will also be cheaper, with one plan made entirely free.  “In line with our longstanding commitment to education, we will make our ‘A2’ service plan free to not only students, but also to faculty and staff,” Koenigsbauer added.

“A2 includes the core capabilities of Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync and the Office Web Applications.  Exchange Online and Lync Online are available today for academic institutions, and we’ll launch the full Office 365 for education service starting this summer.”

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