Microsoft brings Office to the Web browser

Jim Dalrymple
30 October, 2008
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Mac users will be able to use the next version of Office for Windows directly, thanks to lightweight versions of its apps that will be delivered through Web browsers. Even though the release is for Windows, Microsoft representatives confirmed for Macworld that the Office Web apps would work with Safari and Firefox.

The company explained the move to the Web at its Professional Developers Conference. Microsoft said it plans to deliver all of its technology as “software plus services,” with Office being one those technologies.

The Office Web applications will be lightweight versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, which . Using the apps, you can use a browser to create, edit, and collaborate on Office documents. [Ed. -- OneNote has previously not been available to Mac users, instead being integrated in piecemeal fashion into Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac].

“We raised the stakes with Office Web applications. With this development, people can benefit from Office as a service on their browser, as a downloadable application on their phone, and as software on their PCs,” said Chris Capossela, senior vice president, Microsoft Business Division. “This is the kind of flexibility that our software plus services approach makes possible, and is helping us deliver the kind of innovation that businesses and consumers expect from Microsoft.”

Microsoft will deliver the apps through Office Live with ad supported and subscription versions. Business customers have the option of using a hosted subscription service.

“We are deeply committed to offering our customers the technology they need to succeed. To that end, we’re investing in software plus services for the long term, something that sets us apart from our competitors,” said Capossela.

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