The next edition of Microsoft's Office software will include an online version which doesn't need to be installed on computers. It's a clear rival to other cloud services, such as Google Docs.
There aren't many official details available on the online version yet, but it appears the system will work on several browsers: not just Internet Explorer but also Firefox, Safari and the iPhone browser.
Users who want to do more than simply edit a simple document at once will likely have to install Silverlight, Microsoft's take on Adobe's Flash. This will allow users to upload and collaborate on multiple documents at once. (Source: theregister.co.uk)
There have been suggestions a web version of Office would include advertising, but this isn't yet confirmed.
The web edition will follow shortly after the release of the full desktop edition of Office 2010, due out in the first half of next year.
Microsoft claims Office 2010 will be much more compatible with rival document editing programs and that the firm will publish extensive documentation to allow other firms to produce technology which works with the system.
Technical Secrets Unleashed
However, not everyone is happy with Microsoft's decision on the matter. The Redmond-based company is doing this through an 'open format' for documents known as OOXML. Though that's received official recognition as a document standard, critics say it's unnecessary and Microsoft should have stuck to the independently created ODF system.
As you'd expect from a product with such a wide customer base, Microsoft isn't adding in any major technical requirements for Office 10. It will be available for Windows XP as well as
$7.7 Billion Spent on Research
The firm says it has put $7.7 billion into research and development to improve Office 2010 -- twice its investment in Windows. But the problem at this stage is that there is very little that can be added in the way of core features. While the product can always be tweaked and polished, Office already does everything that most users will ever need; it's the high price that's likely to put people off. (Source: computerworld.com)