On December 19th, Microsoft announced the removal of the public website feature from SharePoint Online. Of course, it's not really a full removal, but the feature is transitioning over to unknown third-party offerings...unknown, that is, until today. Today, Microsoft announced that Wix.com and GoDaddy.com are two of the available third-party offerings and there are more to come. Read the full article here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/3027254.
From the article:
Who will be providing the third-party offerings?
The following website hosting companies currently partner with Office 365:
Needless to say, this is an exciting time for public websites in SharePoint Online. Back in its heyday, the ability to add web content to pages in SharePoint without having to know HTML, CSS, etc. was huge. Of course, anyone who's built out a page in SharePoint that had any real impact to users definitely involved some customization in that realm. Today, the world is a lot different and folks need more efficient ways to update content; true no-code efforts that make updating web content fun instead of a chore.
I think Microsoft has made a wise decision here. SharePoint has long been a "jack of all trades," one of them being web content management. SharePoint can do it, sure, but I think it's a great move to let companies who do it better manage it going forward. Microsoft can offload that effort to others and focus on enhancing SharePoint's core capabilities for everyone's benefit.