Microsoft announced that Microsoft Office Live, a set of Internet-based services tailored to the needs of small businesses, will be coming out of beta in the United States Nov. 15. These services are expanding internationally as well and are also scheduled for free beta availability in France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom on Nov. 15. Office Live is designed to help small businesses attract new customers, generate repeat business and easily manage their business online by giving them the tools to establish a Web presence for free as well as a variety of easy-to-use and affordable business applications.
More than 160,000 small businesses tested Office Live during the beta program, providing important feedback that Microsoft has incorporated into the upcoming release. New features that will help small businesses with their sales and marketing needs include Office Live adManager Beta; integration with Microsoft Office Accounting Express 2007; enhanced Web design tools and templates; additional storage space; additional company branded e-mail accounts and calendars; and the ability to chat online via text, voice or mobile phone with employees, customers and colleagues using their own company domain name with Windows Live Messenger. In addition, Office Live Business Contact Manager, a tool to help small companies manage business relationships in an organized and effective way, will be available in subscription-based Office Live offerings.