Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Office 2010 Coming To The Web For Free

In a move that will likely expand its market reach while adding appeal to its product range, American software behemoth Microsoft has this week confirmed upcoming free Web-based iterations of its popular Office productivity suite.

Specifically, next year’s official launch of Office 2010 will be boosted by the online availability of scaled back versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.

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“We believe the web has a lot to offer in terms of connectivity,” a Microsoft product manager explained to the BBC.

“We have over half a billion customers world-wide and what we hear from them is that they really want the power of the web without compromise,” he added. “They want collaboration without compromise.”

According to Redmond-based Microsoft, more than 400 million customers armed with Windows Live accounts will receive online access to the free lightweight productivity applications.

A public beta period allowing for widespread testing and feedback collection regarding the free online Office suite is likely to be opened by the end of 2009.

In terms of the upcoming Office product range, Microsoft has said the new suite will be offered in five different editions – which is a reduction from the usual eight.

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