Microsoft has launched the long awaited Office 2010 program for home and business users at an event in New York on May 12. The software comes with an online component known as Office Web Apps. which includes free versions of its Word, Excel and PowerPoint packages.
Major upgrades includes an improved Outlook messaging component which will make it easier to manage and organise messages including those generated from social networking sites through an added social-connection service to enhance productivity. Furthermore, the integration of cloud computing into the office suite (widely seen as a direct competition with Google Docs), will enable users to interact with documents that are stored on remote servers ubiquitously and simultaneously from desktop or tablet PCs and smart-phones.
Office Web Apps. will be available on social networks to all Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and Windows Live users, who will be able to access and edit documents from within a Web browser as well as share and collaborate on files. Although the online suite will not have the entire range of features found in desktop versions, there is no doubt that it is one of the best freemium deals of the year. By making Office 2010 available online through social media, Microsoft aims to entice new customers, especially those who are always on the go, to try their products and keep the Office suite relevant in an increasingly online world.
Considering the fact that Microsoft already boasts of about 94% of the office software market, how successful will Office 2010 be? Can Google Doc and other free online tools end Microsoft’s dominance of the market?