I have just read an article by Robert L. Mitchell on Computerworld, questioning Microsoft’s strategy to bring everything Microsoft to the cloud, into their very own Office 365.
Microsoft changed Office Live Small Business (OLSB) business model, replacing it with – what else – Microsoft Office 365. OLSB helps small businesses build business websites, and with the mandatory migration to Office 365 will give small businesses a more comprehensive productivity tools for small business, all available at an affordable price.
According to the official notice from OLSB site, the services can still be accessible through April 30, 2012. After that, the service will be shut down and the content inaccessible. Small businesses can enjoy a 6 month free trial offer of Office 365 available this February 2012.
What’s bad with all that is the fact that OLSB’s current users will need to move their websites, e-mail, calendars and other content to Office 365 – with no help from Microsoft, other than a self transition guide. In other words, you are on your own.
One big question for Microsoft: Why didn’t they help migrating customers data from OLSB to Office 365? The essence of cloud computing solutions is the fact that software upgrade should be done by the cloud vendor – in this case, Microsoft and its big cloud.
I’m not a customer of either Microsoft OLSB or Office 365, but if I happened to be the user of OLSB, I would prefer Microsoft to migrate my data for me than getting the 6 months Office 365 free trial.
Here’s another issue in the OLSB to Office 365 migration: I’m not sure small business owners would be delighted with the fact that it could take up to 72 hours, during which time they won’t be able to access their websites or emails.
I’m not sure whether Office 365 is the ultimate Microsoft cloud or not. However, consider this: History can repeat itself; what happened to OLSB could happen to Office 365.
So what do you think? Is Microsoft’s self-transition guide for mandatory migration acceptable?