Microsoft has released the new version of Microsoft Works as a free, ad supported office package that will compete directly with Open Office and Google Docs & Spreadsheets.
The Works package offers word processing, spreadsheet and slide (powerpoint) functionality partially based on code from older versions of Microsoft Office.
The move by Microsoft to offer a free office suite comes as online office packages including Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Thinkfree Office and Zoho continue to grow market share due to increased broadband penetration, online convenience and lower costs.
It was not disclosed whether the new version of Microsoft Works would sync with or support Microsoft’s online services under the Live brand. Whilst the version was said to be released July 27, it was not clear where it could be downloaded from or accessed.
Microsoft Works first launched as a Mac application in 1986.