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Microsoft Corp, faced with Web rivals looking to poach its business customers, said on Sunday it plans to broaden the availability of its online services for e-mail and collaboration software.
Last year, Microsoft started subscription-based online services to run its Exchange corporate e-mail program and SharePoint collaboration software on Microsoft's own computer systems as an alternative to customers buying their own hardware to run licensed software.
Microsoft initially limited those services to companies with more than 5,000 workers, but the company said it will now offer the service to businesses of all sizes in the second half of 2008, after a testing period. The company did not disclose how much it will charge customers for the services.
Microsoft Expands Online Web Services [uk.reuters.com]
The limited beta trial for US-based companies
The plan is for the serivces to be rolled out in the second half of the year.