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Office Live Small Business is closed, but customers still grapple with migration

Juan Carlos Perez | May 7, 2012
The deadline to migrate email domains and websites hosted on the Microsoft Office Live Small Business (OLSB) online service suite passed on Monday, but customers continue to post a steady stream of complaints and problem reports, indicating that the number of businesses that haven't made the transition is considerable.

Unsurprisingly, another point of contention for small business customers has been cost, because Office 365 is generally more expensive than OLSB, and having to hire a Microsoft partner to carry out the transition adds to the cost.

OLSB is free, with optional fee-based add-ons. In comparison, the Office 365 plan for small businesses, called P1, costs US$6 per user, per month, and more if customers add the option of Office Professional Plus, an upgrade over the standard Office Web Apps.

While Office 365 has more features overall than OLSB does, the question for OLSB customers is whether they will use the additional features they're paying more for.

"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 Web page on the official OLSB website.

But OLSB customer Haygood said, "Office 365 isn't really better. It's maybe different -- on the surface, that is. I'd have happily paid to stay at OLSB what I'll be paying for Office 365 just to keep what I had, with a few improvements to the site hosting/design software and the Web Apps."


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