Microsoft starts free trials of Office Web Apps, belated response to Google Docs

excelGoogle has ruled the roost when it comes to free web-based productivity applications. But it was just a matter of time before Microsoft too would join the game. And it looks like that day is near.

Free trials of Office Web Apps have begun as part of a technical preview offered to early testers (via the Microsoft Windoes Live service). The suite offers Excel, PowerPoint, Word, OneNote and integrates with Hotmail. Files are stored, and shared, using SkyDrive.

One big advantage Microsoft brings is its huge install base of users.

Loyal Microsoft Office will be natural targets for the new Web-based version of their favorite applications.

But for small businesses and consumers in general, I’m guessing that Google Docs will continue to satiate their needs.

If you are already a  happy Google user, I don’t see any compelling reason, yet, to switch.

Stay tuned for more as I give it a test drive, and compare Web Apps with Docs.

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  • Tom

    Does everyone not see the amazing irony of Microsoft putting a preview video of Web Apps (i.e. a "cloud computing" competitor to Google Apps) on YOUTUBE, a major product offering of Google!!!!! Come on Microsoft where is your video sharing system? (P.S. video ability like YOUTUBE is available to Google Apps premier users, and it is totally branded under the organization's domain). Hey, Microsoft has fantastic "local machine" client based Productivity Apps, but lets face it their cloud offering has a long way to go

  • Tom

    Does everyone not see the amazing irony of Microsoft putting a preview video of Web Apps (i.e. a "cloud computing" competitor to Google Apps) on YOUTUBE, a major product offering of Google!!!!! Come on Microsoft where is your video sharing system? (P.S. video ability like YOUTUBE is available to Google Apps premier users, and it is totally branded under the organization's domain).

    Hey, Microsoft has fantastic "local machine" client based Productivity Apps, but lets face it their cloud offering has a long way to go

  • Tom

    Does everyone not see the amazing irony of Microsoft putting a preview video of Web Apps (i.e. a "cloud computing" competitor to Google Apps) on YOUTUBE, a major product offering of Google!!!!! Come on Microsoft where is your video sharing system? (P.S. video ability like YOUTUBE is available to Google Apps premier users, and it is totally branded under the organization's domain).

    Hey, Microsoft has fantastic "local machine" client based Productivity Apps, but lets face it their cloud offering has a long way to go

  • Clinton Stark

    That's a good point Tom! I think MSFT has an uphill battle to make inroads into the cloud space. It's just not in their DNA. Shrink wrap software is.

  • That's a good point Tom! I think MSFT has an uphill battle to make inroads into the cloud space. It's just not in their DNA. Shrink wrap software is.

  • That's a good point Tom! I think MSFT has an uphill battle to make inroads into the cloud space. It's just not in their DNA. Shrink wrap software is.