Microsoft to make Office 2010 available online

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.

Gizmodo Via BBC Online