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Office 365 in many ways is the first true Microsoft collaboration cloud offering. The current BPOS incarnation is based on the 2007 wave of products - Exchange, Office Communications Server (OCS) and SharePoint - the design of which commenced in 2003; long before cloud provisioning was a market force. In part, in an effort to respond to Google's enterprise cloud ambitions (and customer demand), Microsoft needed to get a competing product on the market quickly. As a result, the 2007 products were offered as cloud services, but they were limited compared to the on-premises versions in many ways.
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