Microsoft reveals service bundles, pricing

Microsoft reveals service bundles, pricing

Microsoft Tuesday finally showed how it will price online services, including Exchange and SharePoint, and how it will share revenue with partners.

The company used its annual Worldwide Partner Conference to detail two bundles of services, one targeted at workers who spend little time with a PC and one tailored for "information workers" that includes collaboration tools, portals, instant messaging/presence and Web conferencing.

The information worker bundle will be priced at $15 per user per month and includes hosted versions of Exchange, SharePoint, Office Communications Server and Live Meeting.

The entry-level services -- Exchange Online Deskless Worker and SharePoint Online Deskless Worker -- will be priced at $3 per user per month.

The services are run from a Microsoft data center and sold by partners.

Microsoft will offer partners selling the services, which can be bought as bundles or ala carte, 12% of the first-year contract value with a recurring revenue stream of 6% of the subscription fee every year for the life of the customer contract.

Stephen Elop, president of the Microsoft business division, made the announcements during the opening keynote address of the conference, which is taking place this week in Houston. He said the goal is that users will have parity between online services and locally installed Microsoft infrastructure.

With the information worker suite, Exchange provides desktop and mobile e-mail and calendars with Outlook Web Access. It also includes integration with Outlook. The SharePoint service includes portals, collaboration, search and customized team sites while Office Communications provides IM and presence. Live Meeting brings Web conferencing and video conferencing.

Exchange Online Deskless Worker provides e-mail, calendars, global address lists, antivirus, antispam filters and Outlook Web Access Light. SharePoint Online Deskless Worker provides SharePoint portal and team sites and search functionality.

Microsoft also announced a program to help partners get started called Quickstart for Microsoft Online Services.

The company said it will expand its Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online program for partners and include new readiness tools.

Also for partners, Microsoft unveiled a Mobile Readiness program, new licensing and financing, the beta of Vista Compatibility Center (WVCC) to help partners identify Vista compatible products and devices, and Windows Vista Small Business Assurance to help smaller companies make the leap from XP to Vista.

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