Microsoft Prepares Office 365 Cloud Bundles on PCs
I don’t have exact details. But Gregg Prendergast, VP, commercials sales and marketing, Acer America, briefly mentioned Microsoft’s Office 365 bundling and trial strategy during CompTIA Breakaway in Washington, D.C., this week. The panel explored emerging channel partner trends in mobility, security and cloud computing.
Prendergast mentioned both Office 365 and Google Chromebooks for Business. He noted that Microsoft will, indeed, offer trial versions of Office 365 on Acer systems. Also, Prendergast said the Gooble Chromebooks effort seems to mostly target the education vertical — particularly schools, colleges and universities with 1,500 seats or more.
Google Chromebooks, initially offered by Acer and Samsung, resemble traditional laptops but they depend on a lightweight operating system (Chrome OS) and cloud applications like Google Apps. The Chromebooks are available for outright purchase or as part of a monthly pay-as-you-go fee.
Back in Microsoft land, I wonder how the Office 365 trial software links will function? While it’s easy for end-customers to trial Microsoft Office (on-premise) and web-based versions of Word and Excel, I’m not sure how the trial will potentially connect end-customers to more complex applications like Exchange Online and SharePoint Online.
Still, I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ve yet to receive an official comment from Microsoft. But if the folks in Redmond have insights to share I’ll be sure to return with more perspectives.