Microsoft Office Enters the Cloud

Move ups competition with Google
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2011 7:51 AM CDT
Microsoft Office Enters the Cloud
In this Oct. 6, 2009 file photoThe Microsoft logo is seen on the new French branch office of Microsoft, in Issy-Les-Moulineaux, next to Paris.   (AP Photo/ Thibault Camus, File)

Google stole a chunk of Microsoft's corporate customers when it introduced its web-only Google Apps, but now Microsoft is pushing back with Office 365. The company is putting its extremely popular Microsoft Office software in the "cloud," introducing the new online version this week. Customers will be able to use the newly mobile programs on a number of devices, anywhere they have an Internet connection, Reuters reports.

Google Apps is cheaper than the traditional Microsoft Office suite, and does not require companies to manage servers or install software. It has thus managed to intrude on Microsoft's turf, stealing away InterContinental Hotels Group just this month. Google now boasts 40 million Google Apps users, while a research firm estimates Microsoft has 750 million Office users. While Google charges a flat fee of $50 per user per year, Microsoft plans to charge anywhere from $2 per user per month to $27 per user per month, depending on which services are desired. (Read more cloud computing stories.)

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