In late 2010 Microsoft announced that the service would be discontinued leading to more than 100 mostly very angry comments. The funny thing is that Microsoft has since repeatedly claimed: “we have been listening to your feedback”.
They obviously haven’t.
Screenshot taken from OLSB blog
April 30, 2012 will mark the end of OLSB. I have no idea why they need to shut the whole thing down – to annoy this many customers simply makes no sense at all. Even when you are Microsoft.
20 pages to self-transition your site to Office 365
The replacement product is called Office 365. I guess everyone thought that at least it would be an easy process to get the old site into the new system. After all, both OLSB and Office 365 are Microsoft products. Chances are that once you’ve read the 20 page self-transition guide (Word doc) you won’t find it easy at all. Every single step involves doing things manually.
The nature of website builders
A hosted site builder comes with a lot of benefits but also with one major disadvantage: Your provider has to stay in business or at least keep the product in their portfolio. Microsoft is far from going out of business, but they decided to do away with it anyway.
Office Live Small Business alternatives
We have always been advocates of online website builders. However, we only recommend specialized site builders from companies who are truly dedicated to their mission. That’s why we look at how they are financed and we also have met in person with some of the providers to get a feel for the respective companies.
In case you are looking for a different solution, for example an Open Source CMS, you could check out WordPress.org and hire someone on Elance to help you create it. Make sure you check the ratings before choosing a provider.
If you have any comments about Microsoft’s move, please let me know!
Image: © Sean Gladwell – Fotolia.com