Microsoft has announced it plans to hold a major news event on June 28th in New York City, and—while the announcement doesn’t actually say its—the company will be officially launching its cloud-based Office 365 suite of productivity services to customers. Microsoft VP Jon Roskill has confirmed the June 28 event will be the official launch of Office 365, as have other sources within the company.
Originally announced in October 2010, Office 365 represents Microsoft’s effort to compete with the likes of Google Apps by offering a Web- and cloud-based alternative to its traditional desktop productivity application suite. Office 365 essentially combines Microsoft’s existing Office Web Apps with hosted Exchange and SharePoint services, all lashed together with Microsoft’s Lync technology that keeps files, contacts, and messaging synchronized across the services.
Microsoft launched a public beta of Office 365 in April, and claims to have more than 100,000 real users already on board with the offering.
Office 365 is aimed primarily at businesses, and the company will be offering two versions of the service. A small business version (dubbed Officer 365 for Professionals and Small Businesses) will be available for $6 per person per month to businesses with 25 or fewer employees&mdash, while larger business will pay from $10 to $17 per person per month. Microsoft has also said it will offer alternative pricing plans for education customers.