Microsoft launches online services

Microsoft announced on Monday that it has laid out the next phase in its strategy for online services offering a road map for new offerings that blends client, server and services software for people and businesses. These offerings will combine elements of client-based programs with software that run large servers and new services delivered over the Internet.

Microsoft says it plans to deliver a variety of new solutions during the coming months under two key families of service offerings, Live and Online. The software giant says Live services are designed for individuals, business end-users and virtual work groups and emphasize ease of use, simplicity of access and flexibility and are ideally suited for situations where people either don't have access to professional technical expertise or don't require high levels of system management.

The Online services target organizations with more advanced IT needs where power and flexibility are critical, says the company. Online services will give businesses the ability to control access to data, manage users, apply business and compliance policy and meet high availability standards. Customers will also have the flexibility to choose from either traditional on-premise implementations, applications and services hosted by Microsoft partners, or Online services, which will be hosted in Microsoft's data centers.

"This new era of connected computing is about empowering people and businesses to balance the power of the Internet with the rich interactivity and high performance of client and server software," says Jeff Raikes, president of the Microsoft Business Division. "With today's announcements, we are taking a significant step forward by combining our deep client and server software experience with our strong commitment to delivering flexible services offerings for our wide variety of customers and their unique needs."

Microsoft recently announced that it has postponed the release to manufacturing date for Windows Server 2008 to the first quarter of 2008.

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