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Microsoft brings extended hosted services to Canada

Microsoft is extending availability of its hosted productivity and collaboration apps and claims converts from IBM Lotus and Google

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is extending the availability of its hosted productivity and collaboration applications to 15 countries in Europe as well as Canada, Japan and New Zealand beginning Monday.

Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite is now available in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Microsoft timed the announcement to coincide with Europe’s largest IT conference, Cebit, which kicks off Tuesday.

The suite includes online versions of Microsoft’s messaging and portal software — Exchange Online and SharePoint Online, respectively– as well as Office Communications Online, a hosted unified-communications offering, and Office Live Meeting, a hosted Web-conferencing application.

The subscription price for the suite, which is already available in the U.S., is US$15 per user, per month, and prices overseas will be comparable to this, Microsoft said. For instance, in the U.K. the suite will cost £10.04 per user, per month, and in Europe it will cost