Confirmed: Microsoft Building Google Apps/Zoho Competitor

Most of the good forward looking product information we get out of Microsoft is from the many blogs written by its employees. And when a post is deleted by one of those bloggers, it’s a big alarm bell to seek out and find what they originally wrote. See, for example, our post from last year confirming that Microsoft is working on an online storage product. Today the deleted blog post strikes again (although in this case it’s an altered blog post).

Microsoft developer Tod Hilton wrote a blog post that says it’s his last day with Microsoft’s Global Foundation Services. He’s now moved to the Excel Services team, he says.

Hilton originally posted information on where the product is headed, then quickly removed it. The original text said”

The product has tons of potential and will probably be competing with the likes of Google Spreadsheets, DabbleDB, Zoho and JotSpot Tracker. It’s a really exciting time to be working on this product!

He then removed those sentences and said:

update: I removed some of my personal opinions from this post. I do not want to confuse anyone who might take them as prophecy.

While this doesn’t give away a whole lot, it’s clear that the team is looking to compete directly with Google Apps and Zoho, something they don’t do now. That implies that they are building an online reader/light editor at least for Excel.