Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hulu Plus, Office 365 beta and Google Music Beta

I signed up for Hulu Plus last week when they announced Hulu was available on the Xbox 360. No credit card was required so I signed up. On my computer I use Hulu's desktop application all the time and although I don't currently have my Xbox 360 hooked up I thought it might be worth exploring the new content. Turns out if you have a Netflix subscription Hulu Plus doesn't really offer much in terms of content: X-Files, Serenity, etc. are all available for Netflix streaming. Most other stuff is already free on Hulu. It really seems the only benefit is mobile support but I don't know if that is worth almost $100 / year.

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After one of my friends signed up I also decided to explore Microsoft's Office 365 beta program. Office 365 is Microsoft's hosted email, web apps, SharePoint and instant messaging service. It's been said it will sell for about $6/month per user. Our company already uses a hosted Exchange and SharePoint provider called Apptix and we were able to negotiate lower prices with them because Office 365 offers more (25GB) storage for less money.

With this beta I'm hoping to see how well it works. Not sure how long the beta program is in effect for but after it expires I will have 30 days to decide to purchase or leave. Here goes the testing!

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Today Google debuted Music Beta, an online music locker like Amazon's Cloud Player only larger in scale (supposedly holds 20 thousand instead of 1 thousand songs). The design of their new music site is very none Google in that they built something very appealing. Google isn't doing the traditional look and feel. I see this fitting in very well for Google's mobile strategy (as I write this on my Chrome Notebook running the lean ChromeOS). Unfortunately at it's release I don't see it being that innovative. I still have to take time to upload all my music and I already have a service that roughly does the same thing: my Windows Home Server.

Regardless I signed up for an invitation to use the service. Here goes more testing!

1 comment:

Chris Kenst said...

I chose not to use Hulu Plus since it's so limited and I found a way to stream Hulu from the computer to my TV so I get the shows I want without paying anything.

I never really did try out Office 365, just never fully appealed / intrigued me.

Google Music Beta is now my backup behind Spotify.