Microsoft has rolled out its next version of online services, Office 365, which replaces its Business Productivity Online Services (BPOS) suite. The beta was announced in October, with general availability projected for 2011. Office 365 will include cloud-based versions of 2010 products; the SharePoint version that’s included will continue to be called, simply, SharePoint Online.

In Office 365, the SharePoint Online offering is the next great opportunity for SharePoint, according to Eric Swift, General Manager, Microsoft SharePoint. “We have more than 17,000 customers and 100 million people that rely on SharePoint every day. With SharePoint Online, millions more people will be able to benefit from the power of SharePoint. By delivering SharePoint as a cloud-based service we’re helping customers to deploy faster and more broadly with a predictable monthly cost. And with Office 365, organizations get the full benefit of Office, Exchange, Lync, and SharePoint designed to work together in the cloud.”

SharePoint Online “takes SharePoint to places beyond the enterprise,” says Microsoft’s Ben Tamblyn, Senior Product Manager for SharePoint Online, and it will bring capabilities that organizations want: “Most people are looking to use SharePoint Online to create sites, share content, and share with clients outside.”

To learn more about SharePoint Online, stay tuned to the SharePointProConnections website, which will feature more in-depth posts and articles about it. And visit Microsoft’s website for Office 365 to learn more about what is included.