Sorry if TalkinCloud seems obsessed with Microsoft Office 365 in recent days. Buzz about the forthcoming Microsoft cloud suite continues to grow louder. The latest news involves Microsoft unveiling a partner marketplace for Office 365. Plus, Microsoft has launched a broad public beta of Office 365, reaching 38 markets and covering 17 languages.

While Office 365 is promising, TalkinCloud's early tests of the beta release left us wanting more support for non-Windows platforms like Apple Mac OS X and Google Chrome Browser. Also, some channel partners have expressed concern about how to cooperate -- or compete -- with Office 365.

Still, interest in Office 365 seems to be growing rapidly. The SaaS and cloud suite includes Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online. More than 100,000 organizations, from independent professionals to large enterprises, have signed up to test it, Microsoft claims. Now, additional users can secure a spot in the Office 365 public beta and learn more about the service at http://www.Office365.com, Microsoft says.

Also of big interest to TalkinCloud: Microsoft has launched the Office 365 Marketplace, "which gives customers a simple way to find partner apps and services for Office 365." Assuming the marketplace works as advertised, that's a smart move by the software giant -- especially since it could inspire VARs and MSPs to write value-added enhancements and integrations for Office 365.

According to Microsoft:
"The Marketplace is now live at http://www.Office365.com with 100 apps and 400 professional services available from the established community of more than 16,000 Microsoft cloud partners – with new apps and services to be added over time."

We continue to suspect Office 365 will officially launch sometime around July 1, 2011 -- or right around the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles.

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