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Is Office 365 Coming in June?

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Office 365 will launch in June but company officials are not confirming that timing.

Office 365 is the successor to Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Services offering. It provides hosted Exchange, SharePoint and Lync along with integration to Office.

Until now, the company only would confirm that Office 365 would be available sometime this year but many have speculated it will come sooner than later. But Ballmer said in a speech last week that it will launch in June. Blogger Mary Jo Foley, who last week reported on the anticipated ship date prior to the Microsoft CEO's comments, noticed and tweeted Ballmer's comments Tuesday.

Ballmer disclosed the planned launch date in a speech given at the Confederation of Indian Industry Cloud Summit in New Delhi. Microsoft posted a transcript of his speech here.

"We're pushing hard in the productivity space," Ballmer said. "We'll launch our Office 365 cloud service, which gives you Lync and Exchange and SharePoint and Office and more as a subscribable service that comes from the cloud. That launches in the month of June."

A company spokeswoman said she is aware of Ballmer's comments but the company's official ship date remains "sometime this year." Of course, Microsoft often holds launch events in advance of the shipment of a product, so it's hard to say that Ballmer's launch date would equate to a release.

Microsoft released the open beta of Office 365 in April and, so far, reaction has been positive. Testers have indicated that for a beta, it appeared pretty clean.

"I would say 99.9 percent seems like it's ready to go," said Chad Mosman, principal consultant with MessageOps and an Office 365 MVP. "There are minor things that don't seem to work, and I'll be the first to admit it might not be working because maybe I'm not doing something right. It seems pretty functional."

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 05/31/2011 at 1:14 PM


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