As well as a number of new features and improved functions in the programs within Office, Microsoft is giving users of Office 2010 an online version of its software.
Office Web Apps are lightweight versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote that allow users to view, edit and share documents online. It also means you don’t need the productivity suite installed to access these documents, you simply need a PC with an internet connection and a web browser.
Microsoft is going head-to-head with Google Inc. by offering Web Apps. The search engine giant already offers an online productivity suite that features a word-processing, spreadsheet software and presentation capabilities.
Google’s online productivity suite began in 2006 with word-processing program Google Docs. However, it has managed to capture around four percent of the market, according to research firm Gartner Research Inc.
Microsoft Office, on the other hand, is used by more than 94 percent of PC owners
“There’s no question – Microsoft is responding to Google’s threat,” Gartner analyst, Whit Andrews, told the BBC.
“Until Google emerged with a credible suite of networked applications, Microsoft was not compelled to do anything.”
Consumers will be able to get their hands on Office 2010 from the end of June. Amazon.com Inc. says the Office suite will launch on 30 June and is offering a three-user Home and Student version for £99.99 ($154).
However, Microsoft has yet to confirm the exact release date for home users.