Microsoft Office 365 now public beta

Microsoft has just announced the public release of the Office 365 beta. Designed with large corporations and businesses in mind, Microsoft Office 365 isn’t aimed at replacing Google Docs for the average home user, but for companies that need to work on secure, full-fledged office software – to ensure their work can be accessed from no matter where they are, and that multiple people can work on it at the same time.

It brings together Office, SharePoint, Exchange and Lync in an always-up-to-date cloud service. The public Beta allows millions of people in more countries and more languages - a total of 38 markets and 17 languages in all - to try Office 365 for the first time.

It works on all PCs and mobile phones through a web browser, and if you have a Windows Phone 7 device, you have the benefit of being able to sync and update from the phone itself.

No more worrying about bringing that heavy laptop onto a plane anymore – just load Office from the cloud. Microsoft has also introduced the Office 365 Marketplace, to give customers an easy way to find apps and services that can be used to extend and customize Office 365. With over 100 apps and 400 professional services now, expect more to be added over time.

Microsoft Office 365 was in limited beta previously, but now is available for everybody to test. When it goes live later this year, the service will cost a $6 monthly subscription fee. Head over to the Office 365 website to find out more and to join the beta. Hit the break to watch a promo video for Office 365.