Office Live released to micro businesses

So, I hung out with the Office Live team last week and got the skinny. Office Live isn’t what you think it is. It wasn’t what I thought it was (I was thinking it’d be an internet version of the Office Suite like PowerPoint, Excel, Word). It’s not. Get that out of your mind. And damn the marketers who are extending the Office brand. We love brand extension here, but that’s another debate for another day.

So, what is Office Live? It’s aimed at very small businesses. Think of my prototypical small-town plumber. Maybe has three employees. But needs a Web site that he or she can edit. Some email addresses. And a few other services to help run their business (place to keep documents online which will be backed up automatically).

That’s pretty much what it is. The LiveSide blog has more.

50 thoughts on “Office Live released to micro businesses

  1. I think OL is great for what it is intended to do. I am surprised that there is no ability to add a shopping cart to an Office Live website. Seems like a rather big hole. Would also be great to have an integration point with Office Accounting, to upload product catalog & pricing, and download sales transactions.
    Anyone heard of this being on the roadmap?

  2. I think OL is great for what it is intended to do. I am surprised that there is no ability to add a shopping cart to an Office Live website. Seems like a rather big hole. Would also be great to have an integration point with Office Accounting, to upload product catalog & pricing, and download sales transactions.
    Anyone heard of this being on the roadmap?

  3. Me too. I’m so totally happy with Office Live. I think its a brilliant service from MS (And I don’t usually say this for MS).

    I’ve got the basic version, and its free domain name and hosting, plus 25 free e-mail addresses. Come on, it’s GREAT!!!

  4. Me too. I’m so totally happy with Office Live. I think its a brilliant service from MS (And I don’t usually say this for MS).

    I’ve got the basic version, and its free domain name and hosting, plus 25 free e-mail addresses. Come on, it’s GREAT!!!

  5. Office means just that… an office (online). Why don’t you understand that? Their website never purported to have Word, Excel, or Powerpoint included. Where did you get that idea? This is perfect for a small business… pay extra if you want to support more people. Hey! The Basic one is free… why can’t you all smile? I am very pleased with what they have.

  6. Office means just that… an office (online). Why don’t you understand that? Their website never purported to have Word, Excel, or Powerpoint included. Where did you get that idea? This is perfect for a small business… pay extra if you want to support more people. Hey! The Basic one is free… why can’t you all smile? I am very pleased with what they have.

  7. So what’s “Officey” about this? No Office in Office Live. Office gonna become like .NET? Slapping Office on everything, even if it makes no branding sense?

    People will sign up THINKING it’s HOSTED Office, and Microsoft will jump out the sign-up numbers, saying success, only a few months later finding out most will leave. Bad branding, bad marketing and misleading to boot. Weak weak effort. Go back to the drawing board. All the Ozzie memos, and this is what people get?

    In the best Clara Peller impression one can must, “Where’s da Office beef? I don’t think anyone’s back there” And in another 80s commercial jingle, “Move over Office, here comes something much much leaner!”
    ;)

  8. So what’s “Officey” about this? No Office in Office Live. Office gonna become like .NET? Slapping Office on everything, even if it makes no branding sense?

    People will sign up THINKING it’s HOSTED Office, and Microsoft will jump out the sign-up numbers, saying success, only a few months later finding out most will leave. Bad branding, bad marketing and misleading to boot. Weak weak effort. Go back to the drawing board. All the Ozzie memos, and this is what people get?

    In the best Clara Peller impression one can must, “Where’s da Office beef? I don’t think anyone’s back there” And in another 80s commercial jingle, “Move over Office, here comes something much much leaner!”
    ;)

  9. The only thing that isn’t a part of The Office Family of Products is a nice steak and maybe grits. “New, Microsoft Office Waffle House”

    I wouldn’t even blink twice if it happened.

  10. The only thing that isn’t a part of The Office Family of Products is a nice steak and maybe grits. “New, Microsoft Office Waffle House”

    I wouldn’t even blink twice if it happened.

  11. Yeah, using Office as a recognizable brand is pretty misleading, but the approach towards small businesses is a good idea. Plus, it will probably be pitched as “an extension of the Office family of products.”

  12. Yeah, using Office as a recognizable brand is pretty misleading, but the approach towards small businesses is a good idea. Plus, it will probably be pitched as “an extension of the Office family of products.”

  13. The Web: Free speech — for Chinese admen
    CHICAGO, Feb. 15 (UPI) — Commercial speech on the Internet — marketing and advertising — does not seem to be subject to the same strict censorship standards that political speech is in China, and today, most surprisingly for Westerners, exists in a relatively free state of expression, experts tell United Press International’s The Web.
    http://www.upi.com/Hi-Tech/view.php?StoryID=20060215-091220-6010r
    Concerns were raised in the U.S. Congress Tuesday about censorship fetters being placed by the Chinese Communist government on U.S. Internet service providers like America Online and search-engine providers like Yahoo! and Google. By Gene Koprowski

  14. The Web: Free speech — for Chinese admen
    CHICAGO, Feb. 15 (UPI) — Commercial speech on the Internet — marketing and advertising — does not seem to be subject to the same strict censorship standards that political speech is in China, and today, most surprisingly for Westerners, exists in a relatively free state of expression, experts tell United Press International’s The Web.
    http://www.upi.com/Hi-Tech/view.php?StoryID=20060215-091220-6010r
    Concerns were raised in the U.S. Congress Tuesday about censorship fetters being placed by the Chinese Communist government on U.S. Internet service providers like America Online and search-engine providers like Yahoo! and Google. By Gene Koprowski

  15. The registation page didn’t allow me to accept an agreement by typing my name. It means I don’t care anymore…

  16. The registation page didn’t allow me to accept an agreement by typing my name. It means I don’t care anymore…

  17. Oh and P.S. i did’nt mean you personally when i put ‘messenger’ I mean ‘Microsoft communications central’ and whoever seems to be overseeing it..

  18. Oh and P.S. i did’nt mean you personally when i put ‘messenger’ I mean ‘Microsoft communications central’ and whoever seems to be overseeing it..

  19. Well I must say I’m pretty dissapointed, it is not what I expected at all, here are a few points I would like to express:

    1) ‘Office’ live theres is no ‘office’ in this product! it is just a stupid branding excersise being performed by the clueless ‘suits’ (where is word,excel etc..) buy them a second hand copy of the clue train manafesto and lend them your master text for ‘Naked conversations’ pulll them back into conversational marketing rather than bullshiting company press fodder from a high, nobody buys it anymore. This has nothing to do with Office as we know it!!!!!

    2) In the tools it does provide it doesnt seem to include a blog!! get in there scoble sort them out.

    3) It is aimed squarley at a market segment of micro businesses – 10 people or less. How come it only offers 5 free email addresses then ? do my other 5 employees not get email addresses? I just don’t get it. It sound like they are actually targetting small micro businesses (5 employees or less not 10 or less). Besides I think this whole idea of aiming it for a certain size business is an artificial barrier designed to prevent damage to existing product group revenues within Microsoft, rather than the natural scalable size of the product suite itself.

    4) Only available in the U.S. that just says Microsoft doesn’t care about the rest of the world’s opinions for design and functional testing. Not a good message.

    5) Just when you think Microsoft is turning the corner they slip back into the old mode, this just damages all that goodness that yourself and other Microsoft bloggers have built up.

    Once again let me just say how dissapointed I am at these announcements, I expected more from the product and the messenger.

    regards
    Al

  20. Well I must say I’m pretty dissapointed, it is not what I expected at all, here are a few points I would like to express:

    1) ‘Office’ live theres is no ‘office’ in this product! it is just a stupid branding excersise being performed by the clueless ‘suits’ (where is word,excel etc..) buy them a second hand copy of the clue train manafesto and lend them your master text for ‘Naked conversations’ pulll them back into conversational marketing rather than bullshiting company press fodder from a high, nobody buys it anymore. This has nothing to do with Office as we know it!!!!!

    2) In the tools it does provide it doesnt seem to include a blog!! get in there scoble sort them out.

    3) It is aimed squarley at a market segment of micro businesses – 10 people or less. How come it only offers 5 free email addresses then ? do my other 5 employees not get email addresses? I just don’t get it. It sound like they are actually targetting small micro businesses (5 employees or less not 10 or less). Besides I think this whole idea of aiming it for a certain size business is an artificial barrier designed to prevent damage to existing product group revenues within Microsoft, rather than the natural scalable size of the product suite itself.

    4) Only available in the U.S. that just says Microsoft doesn’t care about the rest of the world’s opinions for design and functional testing. Not a good message.

    5) Just when you think Microsoft is turning the corner they slip back into the old mode, this just damages all that goodness that yourself and other Microsoft bloggers have built up.

    Once again let me just say how dissapointed I am at these announcements, I expected more from the product and the messenger.

    regards
    Al

  21. Scoble,

    Why is that LiveSide site using Google AdSense? I assume it isn’t an official Microsoft site but in that case why do you need to link to their explanation in order for people to understand Office Live?

  22. Scoble,

    Why is that LiveSide site using Google AdSense? I assume it isn’t an official Microsoft site but in that case why do you need to link to their explanation in order for people to understand Office Live?

  23. Office Live is Office – if you remember that Office is a lot more than Word and Excel. Office Live is *SharePoint* live. The competition is SalesForce’s new AppExchange and ISVs building you custom productivity applications in hosted SharePoint (and it will be a great lead generator for that).

  24. Office Live is Office – if you remember that Office is a lot more than Word and Excel. Office Live is *SharePoint* live. The competition is SalesForce’s new AppExchange and ISVs building you custom productivity applications in hosted SharePoint (and it will be a great lead generator for that).

  25. Yeah…so now, you can’t even say “What is Microsoft Office” in less than a page of small type.

    This is the perfect example of what’s hurting Microsoft: Lack of focus. At this point, I think Office is the bit-bucket for anything that’s not Windows. I’ll bet that even the Office PM couldn’t list every product that is a part of Office, or that has been clumped in with Office in one breath, and possibly two.

    lame.

  26. Yeah…so now, you can’t even say “What is Microsoft Office” in less than a page of small type.

    This is the perfect example of what’s hurting Microsoft: Lack of focus. At this point, I think Office is the bit-bucket for anything that’s not Windows. I’ll bet that even the Office PM couldn’t list every product that is a part of Office, or that has been clumped in with Office in one breath, and possibly two.

    lame.

  27. So, what is Office Live? Some sharewareish web portal .Mac-badly-smudged-photocopy copycat aimed at EXTREMELY small biz’s? This from an ENTERPRISE infrastructure software company?

    OfficeLive SAYS hosted Office, you are dead in the water with that marketing. If you even have to pose the question, it’s game over. But what REALLY is OfficeLive? Just Ray Ozzie playing collaborative tiddlywinks with webby tricks on a ad-sponsored binge-fest, with a small unfocused team, as Microsoft got all uppity Google-spooked.

    Let’s be honest for once…

  28. So, what is Office Live? Some sharewareish web portal .Mac-badly-smudged-photocopy copycat aimed at EXTREMELY small biz’s? This from an ENTERPRISE infrastructure software company?

    OfficeLive SAYS hosted Office, you are dead in the water with that marketing. If you even have to pose the question, it’s game over. But what REALLY is OfficeLive? Just Ray Ozzie playing collaborative tiddlywinks with webby tricks on a ad-sponsored binge-fest, with a small unfocused team, as Microsoft got all uppity Google-spooked.

    Let’s be honest for once…

  29. Robert,

    For the audience they are targeting, this might be perfect. The OfficeLive group should check out what SpotRunner (www.spotrunner.com) is doing in the area of TV commercials for small business. It might make a nice strategic partner or acquisition to roll into this model.

  30. Robert,

    For the audience they are targeting, this might be perfect. The OfficeLive group should check out what SpotRunner (www.spotrunner.com) is doing in the area of TV commercials for small business. It might make a nice strategic partner or acquisition to roll into this model.

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