Posts Tagged ‘Office Web Apps’

Microsoft to release web-based Office to stave off Google

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Microsoft is offering for the first time a full Internet-based version of Office 2010, in an attempt to counter Google’s Apps for Business – the latter’s equivalent office productivity software online.

Office 365 - Full Microsoft Office on the cloud.Available today in 40 markets, the cloud-based Office 365 suite of programs will cost small businesses $6 per user per month for software that includes Office Web Apps and Exchange e-mail software. For an additional $12 a month, companies can add a full version of Office, including Word and Excel programs, reports Dina Bass in Seattle for Bloomberg. The full online version of Office is a follow-up to last year’s release of the more basic Office Web Apps.

Google charges companies an annual fee $50 per user for its office-productivity software – Apps for Business, and offers a free version for consumers.

Both Microsoft and Google are going after users who want to work on applications hosted on the Internet, rather than software installed on a local hard drive.

Microsoft claims that it has almost 50 million users for its consumer version of Office Web Apps, which are scaled-down versions of the Office applications. Google claims 30 million active users for it Google Apps. This includes some 3 million corporations and other organizations that use its Apps business software.

Work on your documents anytime, anywhere. Microsoft Office 365.

Work on your documents anytime, anywhere. Microsoft Office 365.

This update represents the first time Microsoft will sell a full version of Office through an Internet-based cloud service, and also marks the first time companies can license the programs on a per-user, per-month basis, said Wes Miller, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft in Kirkland, Washington.

For larger businesses, $2 is enough for just basic e-mail, whereas $24 a month will get a full copy of Office and other programs like social networking and videoconferencing. These software services are an update to an earlier product called Business Productivity Online Suite, or BPOS.

“Microsoft released Office 2010 a year ago, and said earlier this month that it’s being adopted by business customers five times faster than the previous version. Sales in the business division, which is mainly revenue from Office, rose to $5.27 billion last quarter, exceeding the $4.9 billion average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The unit is Microsoft’s biggest in terms of revenue,” reports Bass.