Today Bill Gates announced our project at the big SharePoint Conference here in Seattle. Our very own John Betz even gave a demo of our user experience which we've been working on for over a year!
SharePoint Online allows our customers with small and midsized companies (between 50 and 500 PCs) to get all of the rich functionality of sharepoint wihtout having to host and manage it themselves. Microsoft is now hosting SharePoint in their datacenters, and we make it super-simple to manage all of your users and SharePoint sites using our Administration Center.
Simultaneously, we're also launching Exchange Online which is a hosted version of Exchange available as part of our "Business Productivity Online" offerring. Now you can get all of the rich functionality in Outlook without having to host or manage your own exchange servers. We're also including LiveMeeting in this package, and its integrated into the system as well. All this is wrapped into an easy-to-use experience that integrates the functionality of each of these offerrings and makes user management and licensing for these items very simple.
My role on this project is as the User Experience Lead which helps define the user interface, information architecture, and flow. I've been working on this particular team for about 1 year, with a total of 5 years at Microsoft in various "systems management experience" projects. There's going to be a lot more talk on this blog about how to use the service, and I will answer any questions you have about this new service.