Microsoft to soon sell full range of Web software

Microsoft Corp will soon launch a full range of online versions of its software products, including the Office suite, and expects the weak economy to accelerate growth of the nascent Web-based software market, a senior executive said on Monday.

Stephen Elop, president of Microsoft's business division, is leading the company's entry into the "software as a service" market, which offers programs that are hosted online instead of downloaded to computer hard drives. By using the Web to host software like Microsoft Office, as well as Exchange e-mail and SharePoint collaborative software, Microsoft customers do not need to spend as much money on equipment and maintenance of computer servers.

Elop said the company would soon announce a wide range of services, including free versions supported by advertising.

Microsoft's foray into online software services comes amid competition from Google Inc, whose Google Apps provide free Web services including calendar, collaboration, email and messaging software.

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Is this going to be another vehicle for Microsoft to push Silverlight? I can barely use Microsoft websites as it is for use of the technology, as I refuse to support Microsoft's effort to overthrow Flash.

Now, how exactly will this help the economy? I just fail to see the logic...or maybe I'm just too tired to bother thinking about it. Please, someone fill me in, seeing as I'm too lazy to do it myself.

Recon415 said,
Now, how exactly will this help the economy? I just fail to see the logic...or maybe I'm just too tired to bother thinking about it. Please, someone fill me in, seeing as I'm too lazy to do it myself.

i guess it would be cheaper to had compared to desktop office

Could be interesting to try. Would be good if they tie it into the Live Mesh website so I can work on documents online instead of having to download and re-upload them once changes have been made.

As cool as it is, AJAX stuff just for the most part doesn't have the speed or efficiency of a native program specially when there's large amounts of data to be processed.

Well, the "cool" part is that Linux users will be able to use Genuine Microsoft Office, even if only hosted remotely via web connection.

We have been able to before, with wine and CrossOver, but this makes it a little more official.

While this is true, there have been circumstances where I've wanted to write a word document, and haven't had access to Word 2007, but I have had a web connection. I wouldn't use a web-based Word as my permanent application, but I would use it when I need to.