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Microsoft Community Apps

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In an attempt to compete with Google Apps, Microsoft has launched Windows Live Community Builder. The idea behind Microsoft’s new service is to allow businesses or non for profit organizations to obtain a more engaging and deeper connection with their community through customized applications like email, photo service, messenger, writer, livedrive and more.

Windows Live Community Builder also offers company specific domain support while enabling the ability to register a domain name via supported partners included in registration.

With Windows Live Community Builder, businesses or non for profit organisations or anyone looking at creating a community service can now achieve deeper and more engaging connections with their community through customised, branded online experiences. Whether they want branded, familiar email services for their community or a member’s only area on their web site, complete with calendaring, contacts, and mapping features; Windows Live Community Builder has what they, their administrators, and their technology partners need. It’s easy to get started and painless to maintain – and it includes the peace of mind that comes from the technology, experience, and market leadership they’d expect from Microsoft.

Because this was a soft launch, there aren’t a lot of details about the service just yet, but it appears that at least the base version is free.Given that Google Apps is easy to use, has an established user base, and also offers free standard and education editions, I’m not sure the Windows Live Community Builder will pull too many folks away. What do you think?

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