BlueTie – Online Business Software with Offline Speed and Features

BlueTie provides businesses with hosted email and collaboration solutions for a monthly fee of $3 (just email) $8 (email and collaboration).
BlueTie’s email comes with 1Gb of storage. The collaboration features of BlueTie include: Shared Calendars, Shared Contacts, 1GB of Shared Files, Instant Messaging and SecureSend sensitive document transfer. But there’s more.
BlueTie announced this week the launch of an all-new calendaring and task management application integrated into its collaboration suite. BlueTie writes that the new web-based tools deliver performance that rivals that of desktop applications, makes managing busy schedules easy, and allows users to instantly schedule meetings with colleagues across the office or across the world.
The desktop-like speed of the new calendar and task management applications result from BlueTie’s use of Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) – a technology that enables automatic changes to content without requiring the full Web page to reload. These enhancements make BlueTie the first Software as a Service provider to move beyond beta testing with the production release of an AJAX-based calendar tool that is fully integrated with business-class email – enabling users to automatically send meeting requests and changes to participants.
With the new release, users can create or reschedule appointments through a drag-and-drop feature that instantly notifies participants of the change. A color-coded overlay of colleagues’ calendars identifies common available meeting times making it easy for users to avoid scheduling conflicts. Quick Add, an intuitive appointment scheduling feature, also allows users to enter a brief phrase using common language – such as “Lunch with Jane at 12 on Tuesday” – to automatically add meetings to their calendars.
BlueTie joins the ranks of WebExOne, eUnify, HyperOffice, Office Live and others in offering hosted email/collaboration geared towards smaller businesses.