Rumor: Microsoft Expanding Office 365 with Visio, Project
Microsoft is gearing up plans to roll cloud-hosted versions of the popular Microsoft Visio and Microsoft Project products into its just-launched Office 365 cloud productivity suite, according to rumors gathered by All About Microsoft’s Mary Jo Foley at last week’s Worldwide Partner Conference.
According to the rumors, Microsoft is angling to make it easy for SMB customers to deploy Visio diagramming software and Project planning services from the cloud, just as Office 365 already provides Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online messaging and collaboration. These new tools may be a value-added service that customers can attach to the Microsoft Office 365 licenses they’re already buying.
And while Microsoft has apparently contacted Foley to dispute the rumors — saying it was merely likening the ease of purchase of Office 365 cloud services to how simple it is for enterprise customers to buy Office licenses in bulk — she’s sticking to her guns. Foley maintains several Microsoft partners have been informed about the expansion of the Office 365 suite.
Although Microsoft Project Server is already available from select hosting partners, Microsoft’s moves would mark the first time it would be available as a public cloud offering. If true, the rumored Vizio and Project would make for natural complements to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, which is already confirmed to be coming to Office 365.
Needless to say, TalkinCloud will continue watching Microsoft’s cloud moves for further clues, so stay tuned.