Customers are also grumbling about the cost comparison between OLSB and Office 365. OLSB is free, with optional fee-based add ons. In comparison, the Office 365 plan for small businesses, called P1, costs $6 per user, per month, and more if customers add the option of Office Professional Plus, an upgrade over the standard Office Web Apps.
To be fair, the Office 365 P1 plan offers significantly more capabilities and features than OLSB, as detailed by Microsoft in this comparison. Office 365, a cloud-hosted communication and collaboration suite, includes online versions of Exchange, Lync, SharePoint, and Office in its P1 version.
The issue is whether OLSB customers will find themselves paying more for Office 365 for features that they don't need and won't use.
"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. Many OLSB customers won't see Office 365 as a good fit, especially since Office 365 isn't free," reads a webpage in the official OLSB website.
In that page, Microsoft clearly states that OLSB customers that use a custom domain for their email and website must "move that domain off of OLSB and onto a new provider. You can choose Office 365 or any other provider you want."
Added the Microsoft spokeswoman: "We encourage OLSB users to give Office 365 a try and see if it meets their needs."
Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.