Microsoft has launched a beta version of its Office Live service, aimed at giving UK small businesses a professional online presence.
Office Live will give small businesses their own free domain name, website hosted by Microsoft, and company branded e-mail accounts. Users will also be able to use a secure online workspace, where documents can be uploaded and downloaded securely. Higher-level Office Live packages will offer increased web space and productivity tools.
The service is being pitched at businesses with 10 or fewer staff that do not have complex IT systems and may not have their own IT staff.
The free entry-level service, Office Live Basics, will give users a company domain name, 25 2GB e-mail accounts, an online calendar, instant messaging and a website with 500MB file storage space.
The Office Live Essentials service includes 1GB of website storage and 50 email accounts. It will also offer a business contact manager application and a collaboration tool in a package costing £11.99 plus VAT per month.
The Premium package includes 2GB web storage and a set of web-based productivity applications, for a monthly fee of £22.99 plus VAT.
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