Ooh, Geek wars, we love 'em so much. Following Google's announcement that its Chrome OS would be good to go next year, Microsoft has gone a bit googly itself. The software giant is planning to release a web-based version of Office 2010, a rival to Google Docs, launched three years ago. And it's gonna be free! The apps will be available to anyone with a Live account — and will include Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote.
Although some stock analysts reckon that this could lose the Redmond megacorp anything up to $4 billion, most people are in agreement that the move will win Microsoft a whole bunch of new friends. "It is promising to know that such a traditional software company is responding to the 'threat of the cloud' to its core business by embracing it," commented Ars Technica.
Office 2010 will be rolled out thus: there'll be an early release of web apps to thousands of testers later this year; then, at the end of the year it will be followed by a public beta for the software; the finished version will then be shipped off to PC manufacturers at the beginning of 2010.