A technology blog for The Economist Group IT team

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Office speculation

Specualtion is mounting that an announcement from Bill Gates and Ray Ozzie today will be about a hosted form of Office. Google and Sun recently skirted around the issue of OpenOffice on the web, but now it seems that Google are hiring programmers to further develop OpenOffice....

The big plus for Microsoft in having bits of Office online is that it could help counter piracy. It's not clear whether this will be the case, though, or whether you'll just be able to store files using a Microsoft service online.

It doesn't seem like it would be in Microsoft's interest to move people away from an overbloated desktop, but having web-based word processing and spreadsheets would certainly make it far easier for novices. If all you need is a browser, you don't need to know how to use XP or keep it virus-free etc. etc - Microsoft could run a cleaning service at their end.

We'll know tomorrow.
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