Microsoft Office 365 Free Small Business Trial Counters Google AppsMicrosoft Office 365 Free Small Business Trial Counters Google Apps
Microsoft Office 365 now features a free 90-day trial for small businesses with up to 10 users. Will Google Apps customers make the cloud and SaaS switch?
December 19, 2012
Microsoft Office 365 now features a free 90-day trial for small businesses with up to 10 users. The Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) offer emerges as Google Apps shifts to a paid model for small businesses. The bottom line: Microsoft and Google remain locked in a price war across their SaaS and IaaS cloud platforms.
Indeed, Microsoft recently cut Windows Azure prices in response to Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services price cuts.
Amid all the price cuts and free trials, I’m not sure small businesses are willing to jump from one cloud service to another. As a small business co-founder myself, I basically stick with SaaS applications that work and don’t “leap” to a new option simply because a free trial pops up.
To add extra incentive, Microsoft is inspiring on-premises Office 2010 customers with special clojd trials. According to a Microsoft blog entry from Tony Tai: “Small businesses that purchase and activate a copy of Microsoft Office Home & Business 2010 or Microsoft Office Professional 2010 will receive a 90-day free trial of Office 365 Small Business Premium for up to five users. Office 365 Small Business Premium combines the power of Office 365 small business services with Office software for your users’ PCs or Macs.”
What are the implications here for channel partners? I’m not sure if or how Microsoft allows channel partners to promote the free 90-day Office 365 offer to small businesses. But VARs would surely value the opportunity give “give” 10-person businesses free SaaS applications that shift to paid, recurring revenue models after 90 days.
I’m checking to see how VARs can potentially pursue that specific opportunity.
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