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Posted by on Jul 9, 2009 in At TMV | 3 comments

Microsoft Is On A Roll: Office in the Cloud To Be Unveiled Monday

MGSeigler says that’s why Google’s announcement of the Chrome OS came randomly in July, well before they had anything ready to show off:

On Monday, Microsoft is set to unveil its plans to counter the attack Google previously had launched on it with Google Docs. Yes, Microsoft Office is going to the cloud. This is something which we all knew was eventually coming, and there is already some limited functionality, but the full details will pour out Monday at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans. You can expect the new version of Office, that syncs with the cloud, and the ability to use it in the cloud without any software as well.

Seigler also suspects that Microsoft could unveil that this new web-based Office at “the great domain,” office.com.

Business Week had a major cover story on Microsoft a couple weeks ago in which it described details of the new Office:

Microsoft will offer a free version of Office with limited functionality to customers who don’t want to pay up for the whole shebang. Among other things, the free version, which will be supported in part by online advertising, will let users access any Word or Excel document remotely, via cell phone or a Web site.

The paid version is much heftier. It will allow teams of workers to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations as a group in real time and track down other people with a click and invite them to join in. It also boasts a broader array of fonts and formatting options and much more number-crunching power than the free version. By focusing less on the PC and more on the people who use them across organizations, “We’re trying to redefine our notion of productivity,” says 14-year Microsoft vet Ayca Yuksel, who demonstrated the software for BusinessWeek in June.

Meanwhile, The NYTimes has an editorial in which it celebrates the battle of the behomeths:

We like competition, especially in a market that Microsoft has so thoroughly dominated since the dawn of the PC. What makes this battle all the more interesting is both the scale of the companies involved and the extraordinary differences in their ways of going about business. For all its size — and its occasional arrogance — Google still retains a willingness to experiment and risk failure in many directions at once. Microsoft, on the other hand, is unbelievably tenacious and holds an almost insuperable lead in market share.

Indeed, with all the noise around Google, I was surprised to be reminded by Michael Arrington that Hotmail is still the leading web-based email provider. This from his post announcing that Hotmail now includes a number of features from Microsoft’s Bing search engine:

We’re not talking about a small number of users who will be affected. Hotmail is still by far the largest web mail provider on the Internet, with 343 million monthly users according to Comscore. Second and third are Yahoo (285 million) and Gmail (146 million). A year ago Hotmail had just 273 million users, so it is still growing rapidly.

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