Microsoft has unveiled its long-awaited Office 365 productivity suite, offering a cloud-based system targeted at SMBs that will include Office staples such as Excel, Word and PowerPoint, as well as SharePoint, Exchange and Lync.

Office 365 will also offer online collaboration tools and offline capabilities on a per-user subscription basis. All data from European companies will be held in the European Union, at Microsoft's Amsterdam or Dublin data centers, but the company confirmed that it would still be subject to U.S. laws, so it would have to hand over data if requested by authorities.

Based on the size of their organization, companies can opt either for Office 365 for professionals and small businesses or for Office 365 for midsized businesses and enterprises.

The Office 365 for professionals and small businesses (Plan P) is available for $6 per user per month.

According to Microsoft, the $6 per month version of Office 365 includes:

•    Email, calendar, contacts, personal archive, and 25 gigabytes of mailbox storage with 35 mergabyte attachments with Exchange Online
•    Office Web Apps and SharePoint Online
•    instant messaging, presence, online meetings, and PC-to-PC audio/video calls with Lync Online
•    premium antivirus and anti-spam filtering with Microsoft Forefront Online Protection for Exchange.

There are also two versions of Office 365 for kiosk workers, one at $4 per user per month which includes: a 500 megabytes Exchange Online mailbox and POP email access, SharePoint Online, and view only Office Web Apps.

Larger companies will be able to choose from a number of enterprise plans, no less than four, superseding one another in terms of the services offered.

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