Microsoft Office moves to cloud to take on Google Apps

Microsoft has placed its Office software in the cloud in a bid to ward off Google’s advances in the online email, spreadsheet and word processing space.

msoffice

Office 365 is available from any computer with access to the internet, combines familiar Office programs Word, Outlook, Excel and PowerPoint.

The online suite is a subscription service, available to business employees, schools and universities for $6 (£3.75) per person a month.

Microsoft’s new cloud-based productivity app system will directly compete with Google Apps, which currently claims more than 30 million users. Google currently charges an average subscription of $5 (£3.12) per user a month for the service.

Microsoft’s business arm, which houses Office, was the company’s most profitable division in the first nine months of its financial year. Operating profits were up 20% year on year to $10.2bn (£6.37bn).

The value of the cloud computing market is set to from $68.3bn (£42.7bn) in 2010 to $148.8bn (£92.9bn) in 2014, according to Gartner.

Major brands such as Apple and Amazon have launched cloud services in recent months to tap into the growing trend for storage away from personal hard drives and access to data on the go.

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