back to article Microsoft shutters Office 365's free web site service

Microsoft is terminating its SharePoint Online Public Website service, effective January 2015. SharePoint Online Public Website lets Office 365 users create a website and customise it with in-browser tools. In an advisory posted on Friday, Microsoft explains that “As part of the evolution of the Office 365 service, we …

  1. chekri

    Nadella, where is your 'New Microsoft"?

    Because this stinks of the same old shit that gave MS the reputation it has today.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @chekri - Re: Nadella, where is your 'New Microsoft"?

      You're holding it wrong! [Bold]This[/Bold] is the new Microsoft and there's no escape this time.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not quite

    "SharePoint Online Public Website lets Office 365 users create a website visual and functional atrocity and customise it mangle it beyond all recognition with in-browser tools."


    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Not quite

      Well, they DID say they wanted to "deliver the utmost value to customers”. If the value is initially negative, they don't lie!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Whilst the Intranet version of Sharepoint is not exactly the same as the erstwhile orifice365 version, I am reminded of the comment of a web proffesional some years ago:

    "If the Answer is 'Sharepoint' you need to get a lot better at asking Questions"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sharepointless

      Sharepoint is a total mess. Well in the three places where I have worked and been forced to use it, it has been.

      For example,

      I inserted a document and sent out the access URL to colleagues all over the world.

      The Sharepoint spotty faced admin decided to re-org things. The URL no longer worked. It took me three hours of searching to find it again.

      We now refer to Sharepoint as the place where docs go to die and get forgotten.

      It is no wonder that the PHB's are sending out memos asking why the login counts to their expensive POS have dropped by 70% in the last year. Sorta like that team blogging thingy that they bought, installed, demanded that everyone use it and resorted to sending out edicts via that just to get the usage count up. Only one person I know uses it. The get the edicts and sends them out by email to those who might be interested. YAUMP (Yet Another Useless Microsoft Product)

    2. thondwe

      Re: Sharepointless

      Variant I picked up somewhere was "SharePoint is not a solution to any problem"

    3. admiraljkb

      Re: Sharepointless

      +100. The last company I was hell bent on deploying it, and I was pretty skeptical, particularly as my other sysadmin buddies at other companies were emphatic about NOT deploying it. I sent those reservations upstream but to no avail. I had no personal exposure before that deployment to bring to bear and stop it... Long story short - my exposure to Sharepoint 2010 and 2013 was enough to have me make sure any company I'm working for DOESN'T have Sharepoint. I never want to see that steaming pile ever again. Ironically MS apparently feels the same way by pulling it from o365. :)

    4. WraithCadmus

      Re: Sharepointless

      Has anyone ever encountered a working and productive SharePoint install? Because I never have.

      1. admiraljkb

        Re: Sharepointless

        > Has anyone ever encountered a working and productive SharePoint install? Because I never have.

        While I'm sure there *MUST* be one that exists based on what consultants that came in to fix the last installation said, what I've actually seen so far would indicate you'd have better luck finding the Loch Ness Monster or Sasquatch. Too many people in the "click next, next, next, finish" crowd handling the design work and installations.

        (and no, the consultants didn't fix it per se, although they did get it actually performing better.)

      2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: Sharepointless

        I have one SMB in my stable that uses it to good effect as an intranet. But it's basically a place where one - and only one - person updates the info, for internal dissemination. A Wordpress site would be equally useful...but Sharepoint came free with SBS. :/

  4. Chairo

    What they don't say

    Redmond's not naming who will offer those solutions, but says all will be revealed in January 2015 and that Office 365 customers will be offered generous pricing.

    They also don't tell how much these 3rd parties have to pay to get on the list. I'd bet it's not for free, by a long shot.

  5. big_D Silver badge

    Taking away?

    For existing customers that already use it, they can continue and for those that don't use it, they are not losing anything.

    On the other hand Microsoft are offering new features and benefits as well in Q1, inlcuding unlimited storage on Office 365 Business and Home variants.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Taking away?

        Two years? Well, that's just enough time for Google to develop a migration tool to Google sites…

        1. MatthewSt Silver badge

          Re: Taking away?

          Or enough time for Google Sites to go the way of Google Reader...!

          On a serious note, I don't think Microsoft would be binning this feature if there were masses of users of it. We're one of the users of it and we'd already started our migration process away from it because it's basically Frontpage in the browser!

          1. jason 7

            Re: Taking away?

            The sensible thing to have done would be to come clean and say "As only 357 websites have been created through this service than the planned 3,570,000 we created the infrastructure for, we felt it wasn't worth continuing!"

  6. P. Lee

    Anyone want .net for free?

    I'm sure it's a great deal too!

  7. VinceH

    A picture of Cher pointing to illustrate an article on SharePoint? Really? Are you that desperate to include a 'relevant' picture? :/

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      A picture of Cher pointing to illustrate an article on SharePoint? Really? Are you that desperate to include a 'relevant' picture? :/

      Bootnote: An explanation for the image. It's Cher, pointing. You'll figure it out.

      Seems relevant to me...

      1. VinceH

        "Bootnote: An explanation for the image. It's Cher, pointing. You'll figure it out.

        Seems relevant to me..."

        I did figure it out, as soon as I saw the picture at the top of the article, long before I reached the bootnote.

        But explaining it in the bootnote doesn't make it relevant. It just explains the pun.

  8. Mog0

    Azure Websites

    I'd imagine one of those options they will announce would be the FREE Azure Websites.

    1. MatthewSt Silver badge

      Re: Azure Websites

      They're not free if you want to use a custom domain on it though (which public websites lets you do), or if you want to have more than 165mb of web traffic going towards it (which public websites is). Granted they're cheap, but they're not FREE.

  9. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "a difficult decision to discontinue the SharePoint Online Public Website feature"

    Translation : this feature is expensive and hardly anyone is doing anything with it, so we're canning it.

  10. Wade Burchette Silver badge

    Mobile first, cloud first, ...

    customer last. That is Microsoft's new strategy.

  11. Gray

    More like a superior rogering

    This concept of "delivering the utmost value to customers" and "delivering a superior productivity experience" sounds pretty much like Bubba with a jar of petroleum jelly in his hand, hovering over his new cellmate. As the prison surgeon later said, "Be grateful he used the lube ... !"

    Microsoft, you routinely set amazing new standards of customer relations couched in terms of totally incredible non-speak. Where do you find these butchers of the English language ... dredged up from the deepest catacombs of Redmond-Under-the-Sound?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More like a superior rogering

      "...sounds pretty much like Bubba with a jar of petroleum jelly in his hand..."

      Visualised perfectly in a scene from an episode of "The Comic Strip" in the early 90s. Terrorised inmate (Rik Mayall I think) cowers in the corner of his cell as a large, aggressive hairy chap covered in bondage straps and a leather jockstrap advances menacingly with outstretched arms, delivering in an East End accent the immortal line "one day you're going to thank me for this."

      If you want the Gold Standard in impenetrable, meaningless bollocks, try reading Symantecs product page for the PGP suite. If you can work out what differs between versions or how much its actually going to cost you, you probably should see a psychiatrist; bonus points if you take less than 10 minutes to find the Mac version.

  12. bed

    Thanks, Problem solved

    This winter's task was to get my head round the Sharepoint(less) website stuff that comes with my Office 365 subscription. As far as I can tell, the thing is built round a limited number of templates which don't provide much customisation, providing, me at least, a very frustrating experience when used to editing html and css in notepad++. So, no great loss then. But what will be provided instead - nothing?

    1. John Sanders

      Re: Thanks, Problem solved

      ""This winter's task was to get my head round the Sharepoint(less) website stuff that comes with my Office 365 subscription.""

      The entire Office 365 is very curious, the web part of it is so simple and devoid of functionality that I wonder why do they even bother, it is so simple that I find confusing how to use it!

      The bits that do the work, essentially Word/Excel/Outlook are the same as ever, but with a coat of crap interface.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Thanks, Problem solved

        "...but with a coat of crap interface"

        And a tidy little price hike.

  13. John Sanders


    Is a product that shines if you have SharePoint developers in house to essentially turn it into something non-generic.

    I have seen lots of companies that invested a ton of money on it, to finaly end losing the people who maintain it, thus letting it rot big time.

    And at the same time depend on it enough to grant investing a little fortune into getting the latest version plus a couple of contractors to import all the old stuff into the new version, where it will rot until the time the next version comes around.

    The endless Microsoft circle of life (for Microsoft) in which no competing product is ever even considered, because the company has too much dependence in <introduce product name here in this case SharePoint>.

    SharePoint is a tar-pit platform.

  14. Kunari

    My company is considering a SharePoint for interfacing with customers on their projects; status updates, progress photos, probably even some fileshare, etc. I've pushed back on this as the last time we tried a similar product we spend a ton of $$$ and no one used it after 3 months.

    1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      And it will give you problems

      As long as they can only READ, it is OK, but if they re going to WRITE then the problems come..

      I have been using it for years, and it almost works for us.. now that we are all at least on W7.

  15. magic79

    I liked it!

    All I wanted was a nice collaboration suite with a nice little website. I cannot imagine one without the other. Time to ditch the whole thing and o for Google Apps orSaesforce?

  16. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    Is SharePoint dying?

    Please tell me SharePoint is dying and I will never have to work with it again.

    Please. Please. Pretty please?

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