Office Web Apps marks Microsoft bid to reclaim market from Google

Wed 12th of May 2010, filed under Design

Office 2010 introduces Office Web Apps

Microsoft has revealed its latest version of Office and the new software appears to mark a foray into the online market. The most significant new feature, Office Web Apps, offers users the ability to access and edit their documents online. Designed to work with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, Office Web Apps will allow users to work on and share documents from any location.

While the programs offered are lighter versions than those in the traditional desktop Office software, Microsoft will offer them for free as part of Office 2010. The new Office Mobile feature will also allow customers to use Office 2010 tools on their mobile phone using an interface optimised for the smaller screen.

Responding to Googl?s threat

Office 2010 and its variety of online features is thought by many to demonstrate the next step in the growing rivalry between Microsoft and Google. Since the search engine released Google Docs in 2007 it has claimed four per cent of the Office software market, a share which is steadily increasing. While Microsoft still holds the majority of the market at 94 per cent , the similarities between Google Docs and Office Web Apps have led to speculation that Microsoft is making a bid to reclaim its territory. "There's no question - Microsoft is responding to Google's threat," said Gartner researcher, Whit Andrews.?It is critical that Microsoft capture users who are not tethered to the same desktop PC every day... They need to be able to serve the growing netbook community and people using their phones?

Office Web Apps is not the only feature viewed as provoking the rivalry, however. Office 2010 also offers Outlook Social Connector which allows users to access all their social networking data through Outlook. The application is similar to Google Buzz, which also offered users the same features through their Gmail accounts, and is thought to show that Microsoft is not only reclaiming their market but attempting a move into Googl?s.

Meanwhile, Googl?s competition with another corporation has also taken a step forward as the search engine giant and telecommunications company Verizon Communications announce that they are collaborating on a new tablet device. Though details are scarce regarding release date and features, the device is expected to add to the growing number of rivals to the iPad as well as the competition between Google and Apple.

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