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As the trend to move off the desktop continues, Microsoft is reducing the pricing for its web-based Office 365 suite to enterprises with various packages down between 10% to 20% with storage slashed to cents per GB.

A Race to the Bottom?

A update in a Microsoft Office 365 blog post brings good news for Office 365 users and would-be customers, the service is getting cheaper, with better subscription rates across the board. This should make Office 365 more competitive and provide easier access to the Office hegemony for users who cant or won't have access to a full desktop package.and the changes are now live on the official site.

Kirk Koenigsbauer of Microsoft's Office Division attributes the reductions to efficiency savings within the service, but the company will also be looking at the low barriers to entry from its rivals including Google, Zoho and others.

One of the educational bundles is now also being made free to educators and students. The prices are effective from now for both new and existing customers, with free trials still in effect for those who want to give it a spin.

Office Rules

Only the top tier E3 package allows online editing of documents, which has come down from US$ 24 to $20 a month. All Enterprise editions come with free SharePoint intranet access plus instant messaging and shared calendars.

Office 365 is spreading fast, having opening up in 22 new countries recently, bringing the total up to 64. With plenty of users looking to access Office on tablets and other devices, and with Windows 8 coming soon, Microsoft will be looking to maximize access to Office 365 to encourage users to stick with the Office platform, rather than find something new and better.

Enterprise buyers will be looking very closely at the prices and weighing up their value to users in this highly competitive market. No doubt other players will be responding soon, or singing their own praises and benefits.