Are Public Facing Websites being Dropped from Office 365?

Every Office 365 subscriber gets a limited public facing web site that can be used to host their company web site.  While we have developed public facing web sites on SharePoint on premise for years, the Office 365 public facing web site was always quite limited in features and support (See this article on some of the specific limitations of public facing web sites on Office 365).

There are currently rumors circulating that Microsoft is planning to drop support for public facing web sites from Office 365 altogether.  See the following comments:

http://community.office365.com/en-us/f/154/t/264858.aspx

http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-users-not-happy-over-quiet-sharepoint-online-feature-cuts/

http://365.webbrewers.com/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=64

Each of these blog posts provide feedback that Microsoft may be shutting down its public facing web site service as part of Office 365.  No official word yet has been announced from Microsoft.

Microsoft has also been promoting its WordPress on Azure platform substantially including an article talking about how they host their own blog platform on WordPress.  See this article on how using WordPress is an “awesome” choice for Microsoft that saves them 75% of their hosting costs.

This blog runs on WordPress hosted in Azure – it has been a very good platform from an uptime and pricing perspective.  It provides a scalable public facing web site platform for as little as $10 a month that can easily scale up as traffic increases. 

Stay tuned for the upcoming roadmaps from Office 365 and the upcoming next version of SharePoint on premise to see whether Microsoft still promotes SharePoint as a public facing web site platform. 

  • Microsoft is not investing a penny in its WCM platform, either in Office 365 or on premise. the public facing website features in Office 365 is very basic and it is not suitable for an enterprise website.
    knowing that MS is focusing on Office 365, the future is Sitecore.

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  • Juan

    Marwan, I agree with you. MS has been trying to phase out the WCM platform for a while now. It’s clear to anyone that has used the public facing option of Office 365 that it is less than ideal. It lacks any real SharePoint WCM features and it basically is hosting option more than anything. You’re convinced Sitecore will take over huh?

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  • Stacey White

    I think we should re-investigate the claim. how MS can do that?

    -Stacey
    ehdf.com/cloud-hosting-services/office-365-cloud-services