View Full Version : Microsoft Office To Launch For Free On Web

15th July, 2009, 02:57 AM
Microsoft is continuing to war with Google for internet dominance as it reveals the next version of its Office software will be available for free online.

Office 2010 will feature free and lightweight versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote, Microsoft revealed at a developer conference.

It is a direct challenge to Google's Docs range of productivity tools, launched three years ago.

Microsoft is also planning to allow users to co-author documents in real time - a similar move to Google's upcoming product Wave, the successor to Google Docs.

Office 2010, likely to be released early next year, is just the latest move in an ongoing battle between the two firms.

Last week, Google announced plans to create an open-source operating system to directly rival Microsoft Windows.

The software, called Chrome OS, will run directly from a computer's internet connection and will be totally integrated with Google's wide range of web services.

Last month, Microsoft relaunched its web search service, called Bing, to make it more directly competitive with Google's search engine.

Analyst Matt Rosoff at technology firm Directions On Microsoft said: "The fact that Microsoft is developing (an online document suite) at all is a response to Google.

"This is a move that they probably wouldn't have made if they didn't have to, but there is enough competition bubbling up that they thought they needed a response."

On Monday, Microsoft also revealed plans to expand its MSN website to rival popular music streaming software Spotify.

Peter Bale, executive producer of MSN, told The Daily Telegraph: "Music is an important area for Microsoft. We are looking at launching a music streaming service imminently."

The service, due to launch later this month, will allow users to listen to music for free.

Spotify, which launched in March, offers millions of tracks from all the major record labels to be streamed for free with occasional radio-style adverts