With the recent announcement of Google Chrome OS, Microsoft has hit back by announcing a free web-based version of its Office Software.
Office 2010 will include versions of Word, Excel PowerPoint and OneNote when Microsoft releases it next year. Similar to Google Docs, Office 2010 will be a direct competitor to the dominance of Google in web based applications. The announcement from Microsoft is underpinning the importance of web based applications to the future direction of the tech giant. With Bing, Microsoft’s version of a search engine already in full effect, the web is now a burning priority for Microsoft.
With over a half billion customers worldwide, Microsoft have an audience that is ready to listen, but will these applications fulfill the online needs of the users? The vision behind the Office web based applications is functionality and quality, Microsoft will not sacrifice on these ethics and the web based applications will carry the same high standard as the static Office Software.
So will there be Implications for Microsoft?
Well, Office 2010 will be available to over 400 million customers who are already embracing the Windows Live application; they will have access to Office Web Applications with no additional cost. This could lead to revenue loses, with Microsoft potentially set to lose around $4 billion from the free Web Based Applications.
Although there will be losses in revenue, for Microsoft the most important factor will be that users continue to use the Microsoft products. Office is essential to Microsoft and this is a new avenue for users to access Office Applications. Microsoft has woken up to the threat of Google and with the threat of the “cloud” to Microsoft’s course business it has chosen to embrace it rather ignore it. Already Microsoft hope to have the Office Web Based Applications online with testers at the end of 2009, with the final version ready for the first half of 2010.
Microsoft v Google, the tech war continues
Both tech giants have made announcements in the last 7 days that reinforces that both intend cross into each others turf as both strive for online domination.
The world expected an announcement from Microsoft in response to the Google Chrome OS, however suggestions have been made the Google’s announcement was actually to beat Microsoft to the punch. Microsoft had already scheduled an announcement for the web based Office applications this week.
These announcements are just another example of the tit-for-tat exchanges from Google and Microsoft, as both try to out do one another. Both the Microsoft Office Web Based Applications and Google Chrome OS announcements are examples of how both intend to cross into each others core business interests.
How will it end? The proof will be in the products; until the world has had a chance to experience the programs the outcome won’t be clear and the debate on who will come out on top, Google or Microsoft, will rage on.