Microsoft Launches Free Office Web: Direct Assault on Google Docs

July 14, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Under increasing pressure from Google and its free Web-based Google Docs and Google Apps, Microsoft is releasing a free Web-based version of its upcoming Microsoft Office 2010.

Beginning next year, users will be able to access stripped down versions of Microsoft Office suite applications directly from Microsoft’s Windows Live portal.

The popular Microsoft Office suite has been steadily losing ground to users of Google’s free cloud-based Google Docs, which offers a word processor and spreadsheet. Why pay hundreds of dollars for something you can access for free on the Web?

Microsoft believes both its retail Microsoft Office suite and its new free Web-based version is a superior product to Google Docs, and expects customers lured away by Google to return. Microsoft’s Office Web will offer simpler versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, which will launch in a user’s browser.

Industry observers say Google’s free office applications painted Microsoft into a corner, essentially forcing the company to offer a free cloud-based office application.

Although, the free Office Web is sure to eat into sales of the full Microsoft Office suite, Microsoft contends that a company study showed that most users of Web-based office applications also used Microsoft Office. And Microsoft Office offers advanced features not available in Office Web, such as PowerPoint video editing and new image manipulation tools in Word.

In any event, Microsoft could no longer risk losing further ground to Google and was forced to take the risk of offering a free Web version of its office suite.

The battle lines have been drawn, with Microsoft issuing a direct shot to Google that is sure to draw a returning volley from the giant search engine company.



One Response to “Microsoft Launches Free Office Web: Direct Assault on Google Docs”

  1. Windy Millers Hardware & Software News on July 15th, 2009 2:53 pm

    I think the above about sums it up. Anyone who has moved to google will probably return. If the solutioin was there from the start they would probably have never left. Everyone knows and loves MS office.

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