Microsoft Corp. laid out the next phase in its strategy for online services, offering a road map for new offerings that synthesize client, server and services software. Microsoft plans to deliver a variety of solutions during the coming months under two families of service offerings– “Live” and “Online.” “Live” services from Microsoft are designed primarily for individuals, business end-users and virtual work groups. These services emphasize ease of use, simplicity of access and flexibility, and are suited for situations where people either don’t have access to professional technical expertise or don’t require high levels of system management. “Online” services are for organizations with more advanced IT needs where power and flexibility are critical. Online services from Microsoft give businesses the ability to control access to data, manage users, apply business and compliance policy, and meet availability standards. Microsoft is providing business customers with the flexibility to choose between traditional on-premise implementations, services hosted by Microsoft partners and now Online services that reside in Microsoft’s datacenters. Microsoft also unveiled– Microsoft Office Live Workspace, a new Web-based feature of Microsoft Office that lets people access their documents online and share their work with others; Microsoft Exchange Labs, a new research and development program for testing new messaging and unified communications capabilities in high-scale environments; Continued customer and partner support for Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM; The renaming of the Microsoft Office Live hosted small-business service, a service dedicated to addressing small-business pain points, including core IT services and sales and marketing services, to Microsoft Office Live Small Business; and Microsoft BizTalk Services, a building block service that enables developers to build composite applications. Anyone can pre-register for the English language beta of Office Live Workspace at http://www.officelive.com

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