Archive for October, 2012

Microsoft updates Office 365 pricing

October 30th, 2012

Companies will be able to buy Office 365 Small Business Premium for $12.50 per user per month ($149.99 billed annually). Microsoft said the Office 365 cloud-based service is designed for organisations with one to 10 employees. Each user gets access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, and Publisher and Lync.

As has been reported in the computer press previously, some businesses have been unable to deploy the Office 365 service due to data sovereignty issues.

“We were going to adopt Office 365 and the lawyers said we could not do it,” said Charles Newhouse, head of strategy and design at BAE Systems, speaking during a panel debate at the Business Cloud Summit in London last year.

The service, a rival to Google Docs and Gmail, provides users with a 25GB Outlook mailbox, shared calendar, contact manager, scheduling and task-list tools. Microsoft said it includes 10GB of cloud storage for business. Each user has 500MB of storage space. A number of businesses have switched from Microsoft Office to Google Docs, mainly due to the lower cost and ease of deployment compared to the on-premise Microsoft office desktop software. In response, Microsoft launched Office 365 last year.

UK Government saves £41m axing 61 sites

October 20th, 2012

The UK government has saved £41m in website costs since July 2011, with the total number of sites down by 61 to 383, according to official figures. The news comes as the government moves to accelerate the closure of its website estate and prepares to switch off its main information site Directgov and Business Link sites, which will be replaced by Gov.uk from October 17, 2012.

The total cost of running government sites was just under £108m for 2011/2012, according to the annual Reporting on progress: Central Government Websites findings from the Cabinet Office. The Department for Health had the most expensive website running costs of the 20 central government departments listed, spending £21m on websites and a further £1.4m on staff-related costs.

So far, 1,700 government sites have been axed as part of Martha Lane Fox’s review of public sector digital services in October 2010, which recommended government should have a single domain for its digital interactions.

Microsoft’s energy waste highlights datacentre bad practices

October 10th, 2012

Microsoft has wasted thousands of pounds worth of electricity at its Redmond Quincy datacentre to avoid a $210,000 (£129,000) penalty for under use from its energy provider, according to the New York Times. The report says Microsoft has run its diesel back-up generators in excess of what is required to provide safe, reliable power to its datacentres.

Microsoft threatened to continue burning power in what it acknowledged was an ‘unnecessarily wasteful’ way until the fine was substantially cut, according to documents obtained by the New York Times.

You could argue that at a legal level, Microsoft might had done the right thing and looked after its shareholders. But morally, Microsoft does not have a leg to stand on.