Microsoft to launch web versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint

MS Excel online
It looks like Microsoft is finally prepared to launch its answer to Google Docs, Zoho Office, and ThinkFree Office. About a year after launching Office Live Workspace, which is really just a service for people to store and share documents created using desktop apps, Microsoft has announced plans to go ahead with true web-based versions of MS Office applications including Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.

The Office Web applications will reportedly be stripped down versions of the desktop apps. And it looks like Microsoft will offer at least two tiers of service, with an ad-supported version and a subscription based option for business customers.

The next version of Microsoft Office for the desktop will include the ability to synchronize documents over the web for access on the go. So Microsoft clearly expects customers to continue paying for the offline version of Office. Somehow I suspect the company will also set aside at least a few special features that are only available in the desktop version.


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