Software giant Microsoft has hailed the feedback received from the beta launch of its new cloud-based productivity suite Office 365.
Speaking at the CRN Partner Connect event in Coventry yesterday, Barry Ridgeway, general manager of small to medium solutions and partner group at Microsoft, said the firm had been inundated with requests to test the product.
"We had a public beta launch of the Office 365 product back in April and were expecting 15,000 to 17,000 users to sign up for that, and now it has almost sold out," he said.
The product is being ushered in as a replacement for the vendor's cloud-based Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). It is expected to feature online versions of Microsoft Exchange, Sharepoint, Office and Lync.
Ridgeway said the feedback from the Office 365 beta testers had been useful, admitting that it is sometimes difficult to get products right first time.
"Sometimes the first versions of our products are not great, and I am happy to admit that," he said.
"But we are starting to evolve these services in a way that we are now receiving really great feedback."
Ridgeway also provided an insight into how committed Microsoft is to the cloud, adding that 90 per cent of the firm's software developers are now focused on cloud.
"We are moving most of our on-premises software offerings around our server, business applications and productivity platforms all to the cloud," he added. "We have also opened 23 datacentres over the past several years."
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