Microsoft takes a gamble with Office 2010


Cooler King
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Microsoft takes a gamble with Office 2010 |

Readers may remember when I predicted that Microsoft would be forced to give away its phenomenally popular "Office" software to compete with various options in the marketplace.

(Of course, at the time I was wearing my shirt that proclaimed, "I believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and Chicago's Sports Teams!" at the time.)
Well, of all of my predictions, I got this one spot-on. Starting with Office 2010 this summer, you will be tripping over free versions. Microsoft really didn't have any choice. Google's free office suite that anyone can use over the web (so-called "cloud computing" because you don't actually download the software but you use the software in the online "cloud") is just one of such packages hitting the market.
Well, Microsoft certainly is late to the cloud computing game but they are taking a big gamble this summer with the release of Office 2010. A fully functional version of Office will be released on the Web for anyone to use, complete with a button that will launch the app on your locally installed version of Office on your hard drive if you need to.
Don't have Office installed? Oh, you will.
Microsoft plans to flood the market with "Office Starter," a stripped-down version of Word and Excel that will be pre-installed in tons of new computers starting this summer. (It will replace Microsoft Works, which is being thrown out with the bathwater at the launch of Office 2010. I loved Works for basic stuff and will kind of miss it but that is beside the point.)

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