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Microsoft Offers Free Web-Based Office

15 июля 2009

Microsoft and Google are engaged in a tit-for-tat that could signal a new direction for the future of mobile computing. Following on the heels of its recent release of Bing, the company’s new search engine, Microsoft yesterday announced that it will offer a free Web-based version of its popular suite of Office products, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

For years now, Google has been offering similar services via the Web in the form of Google Docs. The new offerings from Microsoft mark a major break from the boxed software paradigm, indicating the company may see promise in a cloud-based model for distributing and providing its productivity solutions.

Cloud and Web-based services are gaining attention as low-end netbooks and other mobile computing devices attempt to make good on a promise of ultra-portability at a low cost. Skyrocketing netbook sales over the past year have bolstered the trend, but many analysts say that a high rate of returns means the mini computers are unable to meet consumer’s expectations.

Services and storage offered over the Web could mean an always-on from anywhere scenario that demands less of the device itself, leading to more sophisticated applications for smartphones and netbooks alike.

Meanwhile, Google took a stab at Microsoft last week with the announcement of its intention to develop an operating system (OS), Google Chrome OS, which could compete with Microsoft’s controlling share of the netbook OS market. Acer, Asus, HP and Sony all offer netbooks that run on various versions of Microsoft’s Windows OS.


By Andrew Berg 

Источник: Wireless Week

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