But now I fear that the rumor may have been wrong, and that Microsoft has no such plans in the near future. Tonight Microsoft announced an expansion of their “software plus services” strategy that gives businesses many of the collaboration and storage benefits of Sharepoint without actually having to install software on their own internal machines. The program was initially launched in September 2007.
This is not a web based version of office. It’s not competitive with what Google is offering businesses with Apps and Docs. It’s a half way approach that still requires the installation of Office and other software on local machines. It sacrifices some Sharepoint revenue, but does not put Microsoft’s $16 billion Office business at risk.
Which means Microsoft is giving more time for Google to eat their lunch.
Unless something else is coming. In an email to Microsoft PR I asked “Is this the big announcement? There’s nothing else wrt online software coming in the next week or two?” The answer – “I can’t comment on rumors, but wanted to flag this for you because it is related.”