Today Microsoft is announcing Office365 which was codenamed“Union”, the evolution of Microsoft’s online productivity services.  Office365 represents the next edition of the BPOS,, Office Live Small Business and Live@edu solutions.  But its even more than that, it’s the best of everything Microsoft knows about business productivity in one service.   It’s a combination of our world class on premise solutions including SharePoint, Exchange, Lync, and Office to encapsulate the best of the best of Microsoft’s productivity solution showcase in an easy to consume service.

Union

With Office365 aka “Union”, everything is designed to work together.  Earlier this year, the launch of Office, SharePoint, and Exchange 2010 ushered in the future of productivity.  This is the next step.  Together with Lync, these products provide the backbone for the modern business. Customers using these 2010 products are benefiting from super productive employees who can work from anywhere, on any device and from anywhere in the world. But what if you are the local cupcake company on Main Street – have you been using these kinds of tools for your business?  Probably not.  What if you are trapped on legacy technology that limits accessibility behind the firewall – have your people been as productive as those using the latest innovations?  Probably not.  Now, you can have it all with Union.

Just as before, if you or your customers do not need the entire suite of services, standalone options will be available.  As we get closer to launch in 2011, you will learn more about the pricing models for the suites as well as the stand alone options.

With this announcement, we are also announcing the Beta of Union, so make sure you get your hands on it today and prepare your business for the future of online computing.   You can learn more about Office365 on www.facebook.com or follow them on twitter @Office 365 and at the Microsoft News Center (http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/office/) where you can also watch our global press conference announcing the new cloud service.