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Since April 4, 1975, Microsoft has been a leader in the technology area. It started with Altair Basic and has since has evolved into personal and corporate computing. As the computing environment transformed from corporate, to personal to the cloud, Microsoft has positioned itself as a market leader in Online Services.

Microsoft’s online services comprise of two major offerings: Azure and Office 365. Both of these offerings are built on the same robust and flexible platform that runs on datacenters owned and maintained by Microsoft.

Azure Flexibility

Azure has many offerings to meet the complex needs of today’s organizations. Whether it is IaaS or PaaS, Azure can support more than just Microsoft software. In fact, you can run many flavors of Linux operating systems. With 30 global data centers that Microsoft supports, you are able to deploy offerings close to your users.

Office 365 Variety

Office 365 offers a wide variety of applications that provide the ability to co-exist with their on-premise equivalent. You can set up and maintain hybrid environments for Exchange, SharePoint, and Skype for Business. You also have variety with Office 365 ProPlus which is essentially Office 365 in your browser or stay on the traditional route and deploy desktop. An added bonus is OneDrive for Business which offers 1 TB of cloud storage. In addition to the variety you have with Office 365, Microsoft offers 9 data center regions so that your data is close to home.

Security and Compliance for Online Services

The Microsoft cloud offerings meet or exceed many of the security and compliance standards around the world. Microsoft supports and maintains national clouds under high security, scrutiny, and requirements for China, Germany and the United States. The Microsoft Trust Center is a single place to find out how your data is projected to meet the various regulations around the world. As the owner of your data, you are able to see who has access to it and how Microsoft responds to requests to access your data. Microsoft provides visibility into where your data is stored. The data contained in the Microsoft data centers are not shares or mined for marketing purposes as affirmed with the ISO/IEC 207018 certification.

What’s Next for Microsoft?

Cloud services are constantly evolving at Microsoft. They have published roadmaps for both Office 365 and Azure. Many of the service enhancements are from direct feedback from the users on what they would like to see. Not only are the current offerings being improved but new ones are being released all the time. Microsoft is making strategic acquisitions to further enhance offerings, like Secure Islands Technologies Ltd which improves data protection offerings.

Microsoft online services are the best in the breed for the various offerings recognized by Gartner in many of the magic quadrants. They offer great flexibility on how to implement the many solutions to meet the needs of your users. For more information on Online Services contact one of our friendly IT consultants today.

Written by: John Chambers, Solution Architect for Online Productivity