Of all the products aimed at small businesses, Microsoft's Office 365 is one of the most interesting so far this year.
In theory, it's the answer to some of the server problems small offices have been wrestling with for years. An Internet hosted version of Exchange, as well as online versions of Sharepoint, CRM and even Word and Powerpoint, the suite lets you pay a monthly fee for each user (about the price of a sandwich, as Microsoft likes to say), and offload the maintenance and the actual server itself to someone else.
We imagine it takes no small amount of bravery to take a box that might be running under a desk, or if you're lucky, in a server rack in your office where you can go in the event of a failure and physically check the machine - to having it all sit online, somewhere in the bowels of a Microsoft data centre.
As you can tell, one of the major selling points of Office 365 is having access to your data wherever you go
If you're curious about the advantages, Microsoft Press has turned Office 365: Connect and collaborate virtually anywhere, anytime into a free to download eBook. You'll get mostly positive spin about the product, but this basic user's guide does at least offer some practical examples of what Office 365 lets you do.
If you're using Office 365, or you're a small business running your own server, we'd like to hear about what issues you're running into. Add your comments below or email us at inbox at pcandtechauthority.com.au.