Office Live Small Business shuts up shop

News 2 May, 2012

Microsoft pulls down the shutters on its cloud-based email and website hosting suite.

Microsoft has closed its Office Live Small Business (OLSB) cloud-based productivity service.

The move was announced 18 months ago with the company giving the end of April this year as a deadline for users to migrate to other cloud-based services, including Microsoft's Office 365 productivity suite.

Many OLSB customers won't see Office 365 as a good fit, especially since Office 365 isn't free.

Service and sites built on the OLSB service have been inaccessible since yesterday. Existing customers have been told to transition to Office 365 and Microsoft has softened the blow with a free six month subscription to the service.

However, users that created and ran websites on OLSB have to move to an external provider and update their DNS records to point to a new host.

The software giant has posted videos and online support to help users migrate.

But, even up to the deadline, it appeared that some users were unaware of the shutdown or were having problems moving off the platform.

Members of the product’s discussion forum were still posting on the site asking questions about the move or pleading with the company to postpone the shutdown.

Some users of the service have complained that Office 365 is generally more expensive with features many users have said they are unlikely to use. Microsoft, on its webpage, admitted as much

"OLSB appealed to a lot of different people, especially because of the free website. Office 365 is targeted at meeting the needs of small business owners and professionals," read a statement on the official OLSB website. "Many OLSB customers won't see Office 365 as a good fit, especially since Office 365 isn't free."