Microsoft is partnering with GoDaddy, best known for its domain-name registration services, to provide scaled-down Office 365 packages for very small businesses.
The partnership means Office 365 will be offered as GoDaddy’s exclusive email and productivity suite.
For GoDaddy, which says it has 12 million customers, the attraction is being able to offer an email service and productivity suite that most people are familiar with and know how to use, said Steven Aldrich, senior vice president of GoDaddy.
For Microsoft, the partnership means being able to attract very small businesses to use Office 365, the cloud version of its popular productivity suite.
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“GoDaddy is one of the premier companies for attracting and maintaining small businesses,” said John Case, corporate vice president of Microsoft Office. “For us, it’s the chance to work with even more small businesses than we have before.”
There are about 28 million small businesses in the U.S., of which 23 million have four or fewer employees, Aldrich said.
GoDaddy will be offering three Office 365 packages.
All three include getting a domain name that is then attached to the Office 365 email account. GoDaddy also is offering customer support for its Office 365 offerings.
“It’s a one-stop shop: Get a domain name, get email, get storage,” Case said. “And GoDaddy provides support.”
The bare-bones package — which Microsoft has made exclusive to GoDaddy — is $3.99 a month and includes email; the ability to sync email, calendar and contacts across devices; 5 GB email storage a month and 2 GB SkyDrive Pro cloud storage.
The $8.99 per month option includes more storage, Office Web Apps versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, and Lync online meeting and video conferencing capabilities. It does not include desktop versions of Office.
The $12.49 per month option includes the above as well as Office Mobile Apps and Microsoft Office desktop installations on up to five PCs or Macs.
Those prices do not include the price of domain registration.
Office 365 replaces GoDaddy’s own Workspace email, calendar and storage offering.
GoDaddy plans to offer its Office 365 packages initially to new customers, and plans to later move its existing customers over to Office 365.
GoDaddy’s CEO is Blake Irving, a former Microsoft executive who worked in Windows, MSN Messenger and Hotmail.
“The joint value proposition between the two companies is very strong,” Aldrich said. “The relationship between GoDaddy and Microsoft executives certainly helped start the conversation.”
Janet I. Tu: 206-464-2272 or email@example.com. On Twitter @janettu.