Microsoft is making its Office suite available online. The suite of offices products such as Word and Excel are being made available for free for consumers. This is an attempt to fend off Office like software from Google which has made many of its products available online for free.
Office 2010 is a new shift for Microsoft. It is moving into an area of cloud computing where more and more people are using and storing documents on the web rather than storing them on their computer. The suite of software that Microsoft is offering does not contain much of the features in its desktop versions. The verions online are a streamlined version. Also, the online versions for consumers will come with advertisements since they are gaining the right to use the software for free online. Microsoft does have to be careful about how much it will offer online as much of the core business of Microsoft is from the sale of its computer based Office suite.
Since the introduction of Google Docs and other features available from Google, more and more companies are starting to use those features in business. This is still a very small percentage compared to the amount of companies that use Office but the numbers are growing. Therefore Microsoft had to do something to combat this offer from Google. Microsoft does have a huge advantage for cloud computing, as most companies already use Office, the transition to using the online suite will be much easier than trying to convert the company to using a totally different set of software and compatibility.