and Microsoft Announce E-mail Progeny

GoDaddy, the flashy patriarch of online presence and Microsoft, the mother of all software companies, are the no doubt proud parents of the latest arrival designed for small business at mobile and group e-mail plans with Outlook, powered by Microsoft Exchange Server 2007.

The offspring take the form of three plans –  Personal Outlook, Outlook with Mobile and Group Outlook with Mobile – and aim to help small businesses enhance their productivity and communications from any location whether employees are in the office or on the road.

GoDaddy said the benefits of these e-mail plans, which are available for both Mac and PC users, include:

  • Anywhere-access to calendar, address books, tasks and e-mail over the Web, on mobile devices and, of course, on computers at work or at home
  • Core features of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 and Microsoft Entourage 2008, including appointment scheduling, assigning tasks, delegating access to e-mail and a common address book
  • Corporate-grade IT services without any upfront hardware and software costs
  • Help desk support and ongoing system maintenance

Currently, the e-mail plans work with virtually any mobile device, with the exception of the Blackberry. However, the company noted that Blackberry support would be available soon, within a month or two.

GoDaddy manages more than 31 million domain names and sells its own proprietary e-mail service. Yet in this, its first foray into hosting a Microsoft application, the company sees value in offering Exchange and Outlook, which could be construed as a competing e-mail platform.

Jonathan Cottrell, GoDaddy’s general manager of productivity applications, said that offering Outlook through a hosted Exchange platform makes sense for the company. “It’s the next logical step in our business considering our customer base.”

The three tenants GoDaddy built the plan around, Cottrell said, are affordability, simplicity and centralization. “Our customers get the power of Exchange without the hassle and expense of setting up and maintaining an Exchange server and a free download of Outlook or Entourage. And they can manage everything – e-mail, domains, Exchange, hosting – from one central location.”

According to Rich Cannon, a marketing manager with Microsoft, research commissioned from Edge Strategies shows that small business are beginning to rely more on mobile e-mail. “One third of small businesses with between two to 20 employees say they use mobile e-mail on a daily basis,” said Cannon. “In small companies with 20 to 100 employees, that number increases to 52 percent,” he added.

Another benefit, Cottrell noted, is that small businesses can focus more on their business instead of worrying about IT maintenance. “Simplicity is an important element. Even if you have no technical know-how, you can get up and running with the help of our 24/7 state-of-the-art tech support staff,” he said.

All of the plans include MS Exchange, MS Outlook (or Entourage for Mac users) and support for POP3 and IMAP. he Personal Outlook includes one e-mail address, 2GB of storage, and costs $6.99 per month. Outlook with Mobile comes with everything in the Personal plan, plus mobile access, and costs $9.99 per month. Group Outlook with Mobile includes 20 GB of storage, five e-mail addresses and mobile access for $9.99 per month.

You’ll find full information on the plans and pricing here.

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