Microsoft Undercuts Partners, Offers Host Exchange and Sharepoint for GBP18 per annum

Microsoft's plans to offer hosted implementations of Sharepoint and Exchange as well as CRM directly to its customers without going through partners were confirmed by the software company at the Annual SMB conference in Redmond.

Businesses will be able to purchase a new service called "deskless workers suite" which consists of Exchange Online Deskless Worker and SharePoint Online Deskless Worker for as little as USD 36 per year, a mere GBP 18 annually.

Those looking for a more complete solution from Microsoft can go for the full Monty; at USD 15 per month, the Business Productivity Online suite bundles Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Communications Online (for instant-messaging and presence) and Office Live Meeting.

Microsoft's move might have been hastened by the Google menace; the search giant did not hide its ambitions to unseat Microsoft by delivering a number of innovative online business application solutions with Google Apps being the most forefront attempt.

The professional version of Google Apps cost only USD 50 per year, per seat.

The services have not been announced for clients and partners outside the US although Nokia, and AP Moeller Maersk have already signed up for the new online services.

Microsoft has also added that it will share 18 percent of subscription fees with companies that bring in new customers in the first year with an additional 6 percent every year for the period the contact last.