Office 365 Public Beta Begins, Sign-Up Now - gHacks Tech News

Office 365 Public Beta Begins, Sign-Up Now

Office 365, Microsoft's attempt to bring Office to the web as a subscription based service, has been available since 2010 for a select number of beta testers. Back then you were able to enter your email address to receive a notification once the service would enter public beta.

That day has come and users from all over the world can now join the beta of Microsoft Office 365. Users who sign up are informed that it may take between two to four weeks before they receive their official invitation.

Microsoft Office 365 for professionals and small businesses is a subscription service that combines the familiar Microsoft Office Web Apps with a set of web-enabled tools that are easy to learn and use, that work with your existing hardware, and that come backed by the robust security, reliability, and control you need to run your business.

Office 365 combines access to Office Web Apps with services like email, online meetings or websites. Two different beta programs are offered, one for small businesses with up to 25 employees and professionals, and one for enterprises.

Pricing and service availability differs between both programs. The small business subscriptions start at $6 per user, the enterprise plans at $10 per user per month.

Microsoft Office 365 for Professionals and Small Businesses

  • Rich client access via Office applications on PCs and Macs.
  • View and edit documents with Office Web Apps across a broad range of browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari).
  • Access your email from most browsers with Outlook Web App.
  • Access mail, contacts, calendar, and SharePoint® sites from mobile devices including Windows® Phones, Nokia, Android, iPhone and BlackBerry.
  • Manage and share important documents to keep teams in synch, with SharePoint Online.
  • Find and connect with colleagues and customers from virtually anywhere with Microsoft Lync™ Online.
  • Synch email, calendar, and contacts across PC, phone, and browser with Exchange Online.

Microsoft Office 365 for midsize businesses and enterprises

A total of four Enterprise plans are offered starting at $10 per month and ending at $27 per month.

office 365 enterprise plans

Depending on the plan this includes all of the features of the small business plan plus additional features like Enterprise voice capabilities, advanced archive capabilities, unlimited email storage, hosted voicemail, ability to publish Access databases or all features of Office Professional Plus.

Interested users can sign up on the official Microsoft Office 365 website for either beta program. You need to fill out your country, name and a valid email address for this.

  • We need your help

    Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.

    We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.

    If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:


    1. Dan said on April 18, 2011 at 4:30 pm

      Great post, thanks! I’ve been wondering when the public beta would happen… I signed up for the pre-beta a month or so ago and have still not received an invitation. What a great service this is for Microsoft to offer, well worth the money!

    2. me said on April 19, 2011 at 3:26 am

      … and libreoffice is free, forever.

      1. Dan said on April 19, 2011 at 12:50 pm

        Uh, Office 365 is online Exchange mail and data hosting and collaboration, libreoffice isn’t even in the same category.

    3. Huisie said on April 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm

      Hi, Martin

      Will you be furnishing details of the P1 plans, as well?

      I received an invitation to the Beta (P1) week before last.
      You are required to create an “” sub-domain to sign up.
      Your initial administrator account details are thus:
      User name: an “” email address
      Password: whatever you choose

      To use a domain you own, you can then go through the process of “redelegating” a domain, by changing your DNS records with your domain provider.

      Unfortunately, after doing this process and waiting some time for propagation, I was unable to log in as my login details were no longer recognised.

      If you are the only administrator, as I am at this stage, you have to write support to get help with resetting your login details.

      I received an email back from MS Online after 3 days,which gave a canned response and a US phone number to call.
      I am based in the UK and the opening hours for the phone number are inconvenient.
      I have since written back, requesting a local number to call, and am still waiting on a response.

      It seems as though this service is similar to Google’s offerings, at present – simple in appearance, devilish in the details.

      I have great hope for it, though. From my perspective as a small business owner, it holds great promise.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 20, 2011 at 2:14 pm

        Sure I cover it as soon as I get more information and my beta invitation ;)

    Leave a Reply