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Microsoft

Microsoft Prepping Browser-based Word and Excel 159

JCWDenton writes "In a bid to spin its web-based version of Office into contention with rival internet behemoth Google, Microsoft has said it will begin accepting applications for beta testing its web apps later this year. There is one significant difference, however: unlike Google apps, Microsoft said users of its new service can only create or edit online documents if they have Office software already installed on their machines. Microsoft said features of its Office Live Workspace would include allowing users to upload more than 1,000 documents to free personal websites."
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Microsoft Prepping Browser-based Word and Excel

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  • What's the point? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by k_187 ( 61692 ) on Monday October 01, 2007 @09:01AM (#20809609) Journal
    If you have to have office installed, why bother with the online version? I could see them requiring office to register for an account. But why bother?
    • Hmm, automatic upgrades? That will be loads of fun when your file from years ago suddenly ceases to work.

      It's something 'cool sounding' more to market.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by PlatyPaul ( 690601 )
      My guess is to allow you to use Office tools while not at your usual desktop machine. One serious downside, however, is that this makes piracy that much easier: one legal copy would be needed per office, with all other machines logged into the online version. No blank media and CD-key cracking required.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by omeomi ( 675045 )
        My guess is to allow you to use Office tools while not at your usual desktop machine.

        The summary states that you can only edit online documents when using a computer that has Office installed...so, even if it's not your usual desktop machine, it still needs to have Office installed (assuming the summary is correct)
    • by suv4x4 ( 956391 ) on Monday October 01, 2007 @09:08AM (#20809721)
      If you have to have office installed, why bother with the online version? I could see them requiring office to register for an account. But why bother?

      There is no point. You need to see Microsoft thinks in multiple steps, and this is just step 1.

      Step 1 is about rolling out a beta of this software, and allow the public to test it, give feedback, and their devs to improve on that.

      The fact they offer it only to existing customers means there's no chance that this may hurt their Office sales. And it also lets the world know that Microsoft is "aware" of competing web products, such as Google's.

      Should things get rough (Step 2), Microsoft already will have a mature web product in their hands, it will have people familiar with working with this product, and have the option of changing how to offer it, including separately for an yearly fee, as Google does.

      It's the benefit of having so much money, you can throw them in all directions and use what "sticks".

      • by Locutus ( 9039 ) on Monday October 01, 2007 @10:28AM (#20810785)
        my thinking on this went like this, 'how can Microsoft leverage their existing monopolies on the Windows OS and office applications?'. Well, putting this out there for free to existing Microsoft Office users is one way to leverage the MS Office monopoly. After all, once Microsoft built this monopoly, they've been really consistent at making sure only MS Office vX users could exchange with MS Office vX users. If they don't tie this with MS Office 2007, they'll surely do so at a later date.

        Step One of the forward looking steps which are ALWAYS part of Microsoft's project design principles is 'How can it be used to protect the monopoly?'.

        Microsoft does not need any money from these web apps, just needs to make sure the gravy trains of MS Windows and MS Office continue. Google is looking for revenue and coming up with tools/ideas to attract customers. Microsoft is doing what it's done for close to 20 years, attacking new ideas and protecting what it has. IMO.

        LoB
        • their market share has been slowly, but consistently decreasing in several areas - especially in the web browser arena and to some extent in the computer arena, especially since Vista has been such a flop in the business world (tangent: Apple really needs to boost their OS soon - that was supposed to happen this year, right?).

          As much as they may appear to be resisting change and attempting to maintain their position, every new innovation is affecting them and forcing Microsoft to adapt, if ever so slightly
      • Additionally, you may be able to just view the documents without office. This might be useful in some cases; PowerPoint presentations, for instance, and some people make documentation available as Word documents, for some reason. Especially if they are in that minority of docs that OpenOffice doesn't render quite right.
        • some people make documentation available as Word documents, for some reason

          It could be because it's sort of the de-facto standard for business documents anymore (and has been for some time). I maintain 4 copies of some things (html, txt, pdf, and word) because, for a while, I was sending pdf's of documents, and kept getting mailed back by people wanting .doc

          Now, I jump through hoops to provide all forms of documentation to all people. It can be a huge headache at times.

          Also, whether or not you want to adm
      • There is no point.

        Well, there is the same point that has convinced me to use Google Docs for a few minor things, which is the convenience of being able to edit within a web browser and use a central storage location that's available ubiquitously.

        I probably wouldn't store important and/or personal documents that I care about with Google or Microsoft, but I have used Google docs for jotting things down between work and home. I've also made use of the features for letting a couple of other people collabora

      • You got that right - there is no point, but not for the reasons you specify.

        If you RTFTA you'd see that this is nothing more than a glorified WebDAV directory. The functionality they're talking about is something we've been using for freaking ever with Apache/Mod_SSL/WebDAV. We routinely read, write, and save documents to and from anywhere in the world collaboratively with other people in the office, with the server being an old P3 Desktop too old and slow to work as a desktop anymore running CentOS for fre [centos.org]
    • Because it makes the coding soooo much easier.
    • The only real advantage is easy uploading of files onto an internet server.
    • What's the point?

      Google has an online office suite.

      Microsoft wants to "fucking kill Google". That means leveraging their OS and office suite dominance to undermine any market Google ventures into.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Of course, the nice thing about Google Docs is all I need is a compliant browser on any suitable operating system, so what we're talking about here, once you strip away all the hype, is nothing more than remote storage of your documents. I mean, if you need Office installed, then it only eliminates the step where you copy the file from a remote site to the local machine, then edit and then upload it again.

        Not that Google Docs is all that great; it's certainly no Office, and maybe it's simply not possible t
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ednopantz ( 467288 )
      Because they are playing a different game than online apps.

      This is all about mating everything we like about desktop apps (rich ui, etc.) to collaboration tools found in online apps.

      Basically, Sharepoint for the masses.

      Whether or not this works is open to debate, but to say this is me-too is just slashbots wearing their ignorance with pride.

      • Because they are playing a different game than online apps.

        This is all about mating everything we like about desktop apps (rich ui, etc.) to collaboration tools found in online apps.

        Basically, Sharepoint for the masses.

        Sharepoint is a bastardized version of what the Web has enjoyed for years, if you knew where to look. I do agree about the motivations behind this little Office trick, though... I'm thinking OWA for Office, but this time you have to have the app anyway.

        Then again, what exactly were they thinking? It's useless if you already have Office and a Web Browser - you go get the online doc, you work on the doc. All of these steps are pretty much the same no matter what route you take - the only real diff being

    • Re:What's the point? (Score:5, Informative)

      by ThirdPrize ( 938147 ) on Monday October 01, 2007 @09:31AM (#20810015) Homepage
      Just read the articles and it doesn't bear much similarity to the summary Taco posted. There is a M$ press release [microsoft.com] that describes a off-site document hosting set up. As long as you have Office installed on a machine you can download/edit/review documents from the server anywhere in the world. Not really comparable to Googles offerings.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Mod parent's post up. Microsoft is NOT creating a "browser-based" version of MS Office. The press release simply describes a collaboration service that allows you to store and share office documents online. Folks assuming otherwise haven't read the press release (big surprise) and are dolts.
      • by sco08y ( 615665 )
        As long as you have Office installed on a machine you can download/edit/review documents from the server anywhere in the world. Not really comparable to Googles offerings.

        Office has had the ability to be embedded in a web page as an ActiveX control for years now, and Word and Excel have had revision tracking for some time (maybe others, I'm not sure). And they have relatively mature HTML export functions. All MS really needs to do is add upload capabilities to the ActiveX control, which it may already have,
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by neoform ( 551705 )
      Microsoft has been trying to switch to the service model forever. If they had an online version the could charge either a per use fee, or a monthly subscription. Right now they're 'stuck' with their one time sale that doesn't provide MS with the money they feel the deserve.
    • If you have to have office installed, why bother with the online version? I could see them requiring office to register for an account. But why bother?

      Because if you would have RTFA you'd have realized that the blurb is yet another example of MS bashing FUD.

      The service isn't an online office application in the flavor of Google's online service but rather an online storage area where the documents can be viewed by anyone with permission. You'd still need MS Office to edit or create.

      Basically it's a free
      • In other words, a CVS with limited application?

        Umm... anyone could explain to my why I'd want that instead of some real CVS?
        • by Locutus ( 9039 )
          because constantly adding drive space to your MS Exchange email server is driving you nuts and it's driving MS Exchange performance down. If that is what the article is really about then maybe Microsoft is just trying to build a control channel which lessens the load of sending 3+MB of MS Word or MS Powerpoint files around the enterprise via email.

          My guess is that they'll tie this into the email clients and servers so the user doesn't know about it.

          FYI, the article on TheRegister.co.uk mentions both online
        • Umm... to share documents without the need to create a network? Maybe this isn't meant to target the same crowd as you're limiting it to?
        • by mpe ( 36238 )
          In other words, a CVS with limited application?
          Umm... anyone could explain to my why I'd want that instead of some real CVS?


          Especially considering that it probably won't let you use arbitraty encryption on the files. Which you'd need to have any chance of security.
    • by Rolgar ( 556636 )
      The only point would be collaboration or having the documents automatically saved somewhere other than your own hard drive, for folks that don't want to go to the minimal effort of backing up their computers themselves.
      • by mpe ( 36238 )
        The only point would be collaboration or having the documents automatically saved somewhere other than your own hard drive, for folks that don't want to go to the minimal effort of backing up their computers themselves.

        Who also don't care who else might be reading their files.
  • Anywhere.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Travis Mansbridge ( 830557 ) on Monday October 01, 2007 @09:01AM (#20809617)
    Now you can use our software anywhere. As long as that software is already there.
  • by Shadow Wrought ( 586631 ) * <shadow@wrought.gmail@com> on Monday October 01, 2007 @09:03AM (#20809641) Homepage Journal
    Because math errors on the desktop are so confining.
    • Actually, since everything seems to be interacting desktop-to-web-and-back, my guess is that the errors could actually be caught at some point in the process (though it seems unlikely).

      By the way, here [microsoft.com] is the actual Microsoft press release, indicating clearly which components will be involved (for business and personal levels).
    • One stop automated sharing. Now I don't have to worry, that all my data isn't being shared with Google, Microsoft, any of their bussiness partners that would like to target me for advertising, the FBI, Homeland Security, etc...
    • Too true, but seriously, you ask a good question: Why the web?

      For tax preparation software, I can understand it. It changes considerably every year, you only need it for one or two days out of the year, and it facilitates electronic filing.

      But where's the convenience in trying to cram a full-featured word processor or spreadsheet into a web browser? I can see this going one place only: micropayments. Clippy says, "It looks like you're trying to write a letter. Please deposit twenty-five cents."
      • Clippy says, "It looks like you're trying to write a letter. Please deposit twenty-five cents."

        Reminds me of the recorded operator in the payphone days, "Please deposit twenty-five cents for the next 500 words please." ;-)

      • by mpe ( 36238 )
        For tax preparation software, I can understand it. It changes considerably every year, you only need it for one or two days out of the year, and it facilitates electronic filing.

        Also, if it's done correctly, the result is completly cross platform.
    • Poetic justice will be a Firefox extension that fixes the bad calculations. Or implements the "behave like unpatched Office 2007" feature.
  • by christurkel ( 520220 ) on Monday October 01, 2007 @09:03AM (#20809647) Homepage Journal
    And will work only Internet Explorer, let me guess. This is will be competition, how?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by PlatyPaul ( 690601 )
      According to TFA, there will be read-only access for those who don't have Office installed, and (just my guess) that will likely extend to use with non-approved browsers.
      • From the Microsoft press release:

        Collaborators who dont have a desktop version of Microsoft Office software can still view and comment on the document in a browser.

        So, this would also allow cheap/low-budget businesses to buy a smaller number of licenses for editing, with all other collaborators creating a list of comments leading to each document update. That actually sounds like a good idea, in my mind, since it restricts the final editing to a single user (for style and accountability purposes) while c

    • And will work only Internet Explorer, let me guess. This is will be competition, how?

      Indeed. One of the major points of google apps is that I can edit files from a Windows box at wr0k, and from a Linux box at home [or from anywhere, in fact] (not to mention have a reliable `backup' provided by google).

      As much as I don't like MS, I think MS Word is a pretty good product (besides for the locked file format)---editing the files is pretty enjoyable; a bit better tuned than OpenOffice), and if it weren't for suc
      • by mgblst ( 80109 )
        Great point, I guess Microsoft is making the same mistake as they have made with their current Office Suite, and we all know how that backfired on them. When will they learn.

        Mate, most people don't have a Linux machine at home. This is not to stop all the Linux people from using Googles Word, it is to stop the majority from moving to Googles word.
    • If they gave it away for free, like their browser, then they would face an antitrust trial, like their browser.
    • Well, here's the original strategy. The following is from the Comes v. Microsoft discovery, and in Bill Gates' own words:

      One thing we have got to change is our strategy -- allowing Office documents to be rendered very well by other peoples browsers is one of the most destructive things we could do to the company.

      We have to stop putting any effort into this and make sure that Office documents very well depends on PROPRIETARY IE capabilities.

      Anything else is suicide for our platform. This is a case where Off

    • It will be competition because Microsoft will direct its existing customers to the online service using its already established dominant Microsoft Office product. Only working in MSIE is irrelevant because everyone who uses Office has MSIE installed.

  • by BJZQ8 ( 644168 ) on Monday October 01, 2007 @09:05AM (#20809665) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft said users of its new service can only create or edit online documents if they have Office software already installed on their machines

    So close, yet so far away...

  • by HexaByte ( 817350 ) on Monday October 01, 2007 @09:06AM (#20809681)
    What a great idea! Smash the free competition with your version that requires users to fork out hundreds of dollars to get what they can have from the other guy for nothing.

    I'm gonna use this model to build a pay per url web and make billions! I just know everyone will want to use MY web, because by paying for it, they'll know it has real value, unlike that free junk!

  • Wow, are they getting lazy at M$ or what. I guess somebody got a raise, but I also guess he'll be getting fired in about 6 months when there is no uptake on their generous offer.

    Billiam must be wondering how much longer his empire can survive with such stupidity.
  • Pros and Cons (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thatskinnyguy ( 1129515 ) on Monday October 01, 2007 @09:09AM (#20809731)
    Pros:
    • Updated versions constantly
    • Access from anywhere the tubes go.
    • Ease of sharing documents.

    Cons:
    • DoS attack at Microsoft could mean loss of revenues for companies using this service
    • I never have experienced any "outages" of Office installed on my desktop. Have you?
    • Do you really own anything but your user name for this service? How expensive is a user name going to be?
    • by faloi ( 738831 )
      You forgot a "con." If your browser has any issues at all, you're locked out. I've run into a handful of people running Vista that get mysterious "stackhash" errors when running IE. Not such a big deal for web surfing, but a huge deal for services tied to the browser. Office doesn't work, time to reinstall the OS!
    • It would also make it easier to pirate, which could be either a pro or a con depending on your side of the situation. You could copy a legit user's applicable registry entries and then use the online service without ever installing Office on your machine (if the service really just checks for your installation, rather than launching it as part of its processing).
    • by p0tat03 ( 985078 )

      "Ease of sharing documents" is the only one that's valid in that list. Honestly, I've *never* patched any version of Office I've owned, and never had a problem - even the current version, which I do patch only by virtue of the updater nagging me, poses no problems. So really, patched or not Office works fine. Also, I tend to work a lot during travel time - planes, trains, buses, what have you... A tube-based Office simply won't work, and I know a LOT of businessmen who do the same.

      Not to mention that with

    • by symbolset ( 646467 ) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:14PM (#20813471) Journal

      I never have experienced any "outages" of Office installed on my desktop...

      Then you haven't tried visio [microsoft.com].

  • by speaker of the truth ( 1112181 ) on Monday October 01, 2007 @09:10AM (#20809753)
    Yet another fine example of how competition is good. Although personally I've moved away from the buggy implementation of Google Docs (the text editing is fairly clumsy) to OOo. I've lost access to the internet part however I rarely used it (simply stopped me from opening a second program and the load times were seeing this advantage dwindle). I might have been tempted to try out Microsoft's offering, but I'd rather not be tied to Windows right now (might change later next year when I give Office 2007 a whirl).
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Monday October 01, 2007 @09:13AM (#20809769) Journal
    Are they trying to share DLLs between installed MS-Office software and the Web based spreadsheet and word tools? Given their track record this is typically the kind of thing they will do. They preload MS-Office DLLs during boot to create the impression of instant-on MS-Office compared to OpenOffice. (They don't have try this hard to beat OpenOffice in launch time, but that is a different issue). They might tunnel behind the browser and security and everything so that the web based tool can give you faster response time. They don't have to stream in code to execute in the browser and they don't have to send changes back to the server to rerender the page being edited.

    I could easily imagine a development team pitching this idea to the pointy haired bosses. "We have this huge installed base of DLLs and megabytes of code already in the client's machine. We beat them in the download time! We execute complex code in their machine, we beat Google in refresh time! yay!! yay!!!" Of course, such a thing would violate all security protocols, and create thousands of security holes, but they won't care. It would not work in any platform other than Windows and they won't care. It might not work in FireFox and they would go, "yeah! that will kill FF"

    Anyway this is all speculation, but I don't see why they would demand pre installed Ms-Office to allow a web based tool to work.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by suv4x4 ( 956391 )
      After some research, the Slashdot title and summary are, as usual, completely wrong. The Office Live service will complement Office, and NOT offer online Word and Excel.

      It'll offer complementing services, such as email, online synch and storage.

      CmdrTaco, how would you feel to get fired from your own blog for incompetence?
    • by Angst Badger ( 8636 ) on Monday October 01, 2007 @09:44AM (#20810181)
      It's much more likely that Office will simply launch as a tab or iframe in IE, with no actual connection to the net besides the ability to store and retrieve documents from one of Microsoft's servers. What's being sold here, ultimately, is an MS-hosted fileserver with provisions for sharing files amongst one's coworkers.

      In terms of actual document-editing capabilities, Google's office toys aren't serious competition for anyone. Their strength is in providing collaboration tools for small to medium-sized business. (Forget the enterprise.) OpenOffice actually is competition for MS Office in terms of capabilities, though it still lags way behind in collaboration tools. Until Google -- or someone else -- stops screwing around with second-rate DHTML clones of WordPad, and builds MS Office-equivalent (and interoperable) collaboration tools for OpenOffice, Microsoft has nothing to fear from Google in this area.

      In the meantime, Microsoft is just fishing around for new revenue streams. The problem here isn't that Microsoft doesn't get it. They get it just fine. The problem is that neither their customer base nor their competition get it. You and I, dear reader, may be dismayed by their bullshit, but we aren't part of the target market in the first place.
      • Until Google -- or someone else -- stops screwing around with second-rate DHTML clones of WordPad, and builds MS Office-equivalent (and interoperable) collaboration tools for OpenOffice, Microsoft has nothing to fear from Google in this area.

        People are messing with "second-rate DHTML clones" as you call them because, they don't want to sink tons of money in Ms-Office replacement, only to see MS move the goal posts, change the file formats. Their code would become useless then. Till somehow MS gets nailed

  • - operation after what google did ?
    • Being the second (or third, or fourth...) company to roll out something doesn't have to be a bad thing. Yes, innovation is wonderful, but there is also a lot to say for "standing on the shoulders of giants" (with my apologies [wikipedia.org] to Bernard of Chartres and Sir Isaac Newton). If Microsoft does things well, that improvement alone might be just as valuable to the future of the e-Office as Google's first step.

      Whether or not Microsoft does things well, however, will have to be seen.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by xgr3gx ( 1068984 )
      I agree, me-too's aren't always bad. They foster competition and innovation. But everything shouldn't be a me too. When a new technology shows up and M$ wants in, they quickly buy a startup that has already developed something similar, and rebrands it to M$. That's not even a me-too, that's just laziness. Who did they buyout for this online office thing? And putting Outlook online...that's called webmail. (I'll give them credit though...the calendar reminders look just like the desktop Outlook...that's c
  • Yes, almost 10 years on the heels of the "smashing success" that is OWA, they're going to move the rest of the office suite to a non-functional, browser incompatible format that costs way more that competing, functional products.

    The folks at Microsoft are such innovators...

  • It's a sad state when other companies have remade MS Office better than Microsoft makes their own software. I like Google Documents and Sheets, but my favorite so far is ThinkFree.com. It's got the look and feel of Office, but all the collaborative features that the desktop software lacks, and it's completely accessable from anywhere in the world from just about any machine. And like Google it's completely free for the online version. The only downside is how long it takes to open a document, but it's a
  • by Tejin ( 818001 ) on Monday October 01, 2007 @09:20AM (#20809875)
    "That's the stupidest fucking thing I've heard since I've been at Microsoft!"
  • In other news, Microsoft engineers finally determined JavaScript was sufficiently weak-typed enough to develop production applications in. When asked, lead Application Architect, Jing-Jong Wong Alturi stated "Our skills with the Visual Basic enterprise language will translate nicely to our new web platform. We were able to write Excel macros to take our VB code from our code respoitories, filter it through the advanced mathematic functions of Excel and translate it to JS semantics. Additionally, the memo
  • by oahazmatt ( 868057 ) on Monday October 01, 2007 @10:12AM (#20810531) Journal
    I'm looking forward to Microsoft's next big thing: The Browser-based Browser. "You can now use Internet Explorer through any other browser, just make sure you have Internet Explorer installed!"
  • PR speak (Score:3, Funny)

    by cerberusss ( 660701 ) on Monday October 01, 2007 @10:17AM (#20810595) Homepage Journal
    FTFA:

    Microsoft business division president Jeff Raikes said: "We are taking a significant step forward by combining our deep client and server software experience with our strong commitment to delivering flexible services offerings for our wide variety of customers and their unique needs."
    Such language makes me wonder whether English is these people's first language.
    • by m2943 ( 1140797 )
      for our wide variety of customers and their unique needs.

      Just remember: "our customer base, they're all individuals to us."
  • by icepick72 ( 834363 ) on Monday October 01, 2007 @10:27AM (#20810755)
    For the most part, the web browser is too generic to allow any product built on it to compete with an existing standalone counterpart (unless it natively make heavy use of the web), just like Google apps vs Microsoft Office standalone. Hell, even Open Office is having a hard time fighting MS with a standalone product of its own. I can imagine Open Office developers would laugh if approached with the great idea of "going online" to continue competing. You'll always have a select few who are happy with the web version but the stats are extremely small.

    The only reason for Microsoft to go online is to provide an answer to Google apps and others like it. Sure it's a useless answer but at least it's an answer. MS office needs better web integration regardless.

  • I know this isn't some sort of a revolutionary transformation of Office. It's just making webspace available for storing docs, in case you work on the same docs from more than one location. That much is a good idea. The reason why my gradebooks are in the Google spreadsheet is because I sometimes ammend them from any one of four locations.

    But the piracy-fightning motivations of this should not be ignored: For the first time, Microsoft can say that a legit version of Office can actually do something useful

  • The idea here seems to be to force universities and public institutions to use Microsoft as otherwise people will not be able to access their documents from Microsoft's servers. If this is not a good reason to move away from Microsoft's document formats I don't know what is. Sure, today you can just use your stand-alone version of Office, but will Office 2010 make a subscription mandatory? Will Office 2013 still allow you to store your documents locally ? Really, if you thought Google doing "software as a s
  • by linebackn ( 131821 ) on Monday October 01, 2007 @11:36AM (#20811815)
    It seems like they have been trying for something like this for quite a while. Obviously this would be implemented using Win32 ActiveX binaries so it would be IE and Windows only.

    Congratulations, Microsoft, you just re-invented client/server architecture, just using web protocols as a transport.
    • by Tarlus ( 1000874 )
      Man, I wish I had some mod points to give ya to raise that post... That's really ultimately all this web-based MS Office software will be.
  • I agree that it's definitely pointless to have an "Online Office" that requires MS Office to be installed locally. However, the model opens up some interesting possibilities.

    Yes, there are document management solutions already in existence and all that. But here's what would be a really cool thing:

    Set up office on the user's machine. The machine may be inside the office network or possibly outside of the office network. Next, there could be some sort of "MS Office Server" running that connects with the
  • The word's "Microsoft" and "browser based" in ANY sentence are inherently oxymoronic. They have no place together.

    One exception MIGHT be "Microsoft is incapable of creating a browser based application" and its many derivatives and variations.
  • by xigxag ( 167441 ) on Monday October 01, 2007 @12:57PM (#20813167)
    Microsoft is clearly hoping the whole web app idea will fail. To a large extent, Office IS Microsoft. It is their huge cash cow and must be protected at all costs.

    But, they don't want to be caught totally unprepared for a paradigm shift, so placing web apps allows them to gauge the market penetration and use of these types of applications, as well as keeping users locked into the MS camp.

    But they don't really want to see this succeed, not even a little bit. MS doesn't "get" the web, never has, and if they have to compete on Google's home turf, they will lose.

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