Microsoft Plans for the Future - Improvements Required in BPOS
Though the BPOS has all components needed for collaboration and conferencing, it can be totally effective only when the entire MS Office goes online. As per Microsoft plans for the future, Office Live is to be discontinued. Current workspaces in Office Live are being shifted to Windows SkyDrive as it is now integrated with Office Web Apps. In other words, anyone with access to SkyDrive can create, edit, and view MS Word documents, MS Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations from without the need for a local copy of MS Office.
This facility is not available in BPOS as yet. One needs a local copy of MS Office for uploading files to BPOS. Microsoft may consider including Office Web Apps - the free online copies of MS Word, MS Excel and MS PowerPoint - into MS BPOS so that more people and small businesses start using the service as it would eliminate the need for local copies of Microsoft Office basic software.
At the moment, the Office Web Apps offer limited functionality but still contain almost all essential elements of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The feature can be included into BPOS with Outlook Web Access so that people get a feel of entire online MS Office. Other factors to consider include: speed of these web applications and security. Being a cloud software, BPOS is also viewed as prone to attacks and unauthorised accesses. Microsoft needs to do something to instill user confidence in BPOS. It is trying to bring about some changes in the platform so that processing becomes easier at users' end.
The uncertainty of uninterrupted Internet connection is another major issue why BPOS may not work for everyone. This could be handled by having a backup connection from another ISP at lower costs at the users end. To ensure steady operations, Microsoft is already using backup servers. I guess it could use real time backup so that in case a server is down, the backup servers can be used for processing. This servers can then be synced with the main servers, when they are back up. In other words, there should be a constant, real-time sync among the main server and backup servers so that nobody's data is stuck in case of an outage.
This is a short talk about Microsoft plans for its future in the cloud field. If you think I missed something, please share it with others using the comment boxes.
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