Microsoft Online Services Pricing

In an email from Microsoft the other day, I saw an offer for Microsoft Online Services and was curious about what’s available and what the pricing might be.  After navigating through the too byzantine process to get to it, I was able to see the pricing below.

Microsoft Online Services Pricing

Microsoft Online Services Pricing (as of 2009-01-17)

Here’s the blurb on the Business Productivity Online Standard Suite:

Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite is a set of messaging and collaboration solutions hosted by Microsoft, and consists of Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Live Meeting, and Office Communications Online (coming soon). These online services are designed to give your business streamlined communication with high availability, comprehensive security, and simplified IT management. Your business benefits from always up-to-date technologies that are deployed rapidly, maximizing your valuable IT resources and reducing your need for infrastructure investments.

I’m not exactly sure why the discount appears (though part of it looks like it may be due to the fact that Office Communications Online is not yet available but is part of the bundle) but even without it the prices look very reasonable.  $7.25 a month/person for SharePoint seems like an out and out bargain based on what I’ve seen others charging.  The datasheet for the Business Productivity Online Standard Suite makes it seem like you’d be getting a real hosted MOSS portal for that price.  (As usual with Microsoft’s pricing and marketing materials, I find it a little difficult to understand exactly what you’d get without reading a lot of fine print — or signing up for the 30 day trial, which I may do.)
All in all, well worth a look if you are considering putting your toe in the water and have a difficult internal process to get hardware in-house.