Less than a decade ago, Microsoft was seen very much as a company denying the validity of the cloud. Its Office tools were a good example of this and steadfastly ignored industry trends in terms of rapid iteration, cloud delivery and subscription business models.

Where Microsoft ignored realities, Google was quick to move, and Google Apps grew rapidly for very good reason — it was the only office productivity suite (ignoring, for a moment, outlier products like Zoho) that delivered cloud-ready solutions on a subscription pricing model.

The world, or at least Microsoft’s world, has, however, turned. Microsoft is now strongly embracing this new way of working. Office 365 is very much a cloud-first product. The mobile versions are fully functional. Microsoft’s own, as well as competitive, cloud-based file-sharing products are integrated into the solution, and Microsoft is following innovative new subscription-based billing models.

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Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.