Office 365 Beta Service Descriptions

Microsoft has made available the descriptions of Office 365 Beta Services:

I went through the Exchange Online Services & SharePoint Services.  I noted the following features for Office 365 in general:

The following features for Exchange Online:

For me, having tried Exchange Services in summer 2010, it looks like the Exchange Online is maturing from an already good feature set.  The show stopper for me was the lack of real single-sign on solution integrated with on-premise AD.  Now that it is covered, it makes the platform quite attractive.

The only other problem I could see for a few enterprises, with my limited experience with Infrastructure, is the lack of support for third-party application running on Exchange Server.  I know that some companies are relying on a few plug-ins running directly on Exchange Server.  If that’s not your case, you may not be concerned.

As for SharePoint Services:

So SharePoint Services are also maturing.

The big problem I see with SharePoint services is for custom portals.  If your company have heavily invested in SharePoint by doing custom development, those assets can’t be ported to SharePoint online in a multi-tenant mode.  You would need to have your own server, which is more expensive.

This touches a core issue of SharePoint Services.  As oppose to the other offering, SharePoint often is customized on the server-side.  SharePoint wasn’t designed with multi-tenant customization in mind.  The Sandbox solutions came with SharePoint 2010, but they are so limited, you can’t do much with it, left alone porting already existing app to that mode.

But, if you’re using SharePoint with just some branding, you’re good to go.

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