Microsoft Corp launches Office 365

The new service, called Office 365, is available as a test in 13 countries, and will be on sale on a subscription basis worldwide next year.

Combining some of Microsoft’s existing cloud-based services, it will be available through most browsers, including Mozilla’s Firefox, Apple’s Inc’s Safari and Google’s Chrome, and can be used on mobile devices such as Research in Motion Ltd’s BlackBerry and Apple’s iPad.

Microsoft will offer it to small companies with fewer than 25 employees for $6 or €5.25 per user per month. For larger companies and government organisations, prices will start from $2 per user per month for basic e-mail. A fuller “professional” version will cost up to $27 per user per month.

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