Microsoft chases Google with web-based Office release

Microsoft has confirmed it will launch a web-based version of its market-leading Office suite in the latest move in its ongoing battle with Google.

Microsoft Office for Web will be rolled out in the first half of 2010, with a free version for consumers and a fee-based version for businesses.

The product will be ad-funded by directing users to Microsoft sites such as Bing.

Office for Web will be a direct competitor to free online products including Open Office and Google Docs. It’s the latest announcement in the ongoing battle between Microsoft and Google, each of which is beginning to make headway in the other’s traditionally strong core territories.

Last week Google announced its first operating system as an extension of its year-old web browser Chrome, both directly challenge Microsoft’s dominant Windows and Internet Explorer products.

In June Microsoft unveiled Bing, it’s latest attempt to eat into Google’s foremost position in the search market.

This story first appeared on newmediaage.co.uk

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