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October 1, 2007

Microsoft fights online office foes with Office Live Workspace

Posted by David Hunter at 11:12 AM ET.

Microsoft has a fundamental problem competing with the online office application offerings like Google Docs in that they want to avoid cannibalizing their considerable Microsoft Office revenues. Therefore they have to try to emulate the desirable features of the online offerings while still requiring that the users have a fully paid up copy of Microsoft Office. That’s just what they did today when they announced “Microsoft Office Live Workspace, a new Web-based feature of Microsoft Office that lets people access their documents online and share their work with others.”

Available at no charge, the beta (preregister up for the English language version at of Microsoft Office Live Workspace offers:

None of these are remarkably novel features since all are available in one form or another from other vendors, but it does indicate that Microsoft takes the nascent threat of Web office apps seriously. The competitive Web office apps give up functionality to provide low cost, ubiquity, and simplified sharing and Microsoft has tried to blunt the two of those three that they can.

Additionally, Microsoft also laid out the nomenclature for the business Web services they will be offering to their customers:

Everyone loves a taxonomy, but the announcement is still touting Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM which would seem to really be “Online” and not “Live.” That’s OK, we still get the idea.

Filed under Coopetition, Dynamics Live, Google, Hosted Services, MBS, Microsoft, Microsoft Online Services, Office, Office Live, Office Live Small Business, Office Live Workspace

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6 Responses to “Microsoft fights online office foes with Office Live Workspace”

  1. Adobe gets into the online office app scramble -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Coincident with Microsoft’s announcement today responding to all the online Web office application bustle, Adobe jumped into the game by announcing the acquisition of Virtual Ubiquity, a vendor with an online word processing application conveniently built on Adobe RIA tooling, and also announced an online file sharing service. [...]

  2. Microsoft’s Office Live Workspace enters public beta | Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Microsoft announced Office Live Workspace in October and today started rolling out the public beta. The play here is for Microsoft to bring some sort of equivalent of the easy document sharing provided by Web-based office software competitors to the users of their cash cow desktop Microsoft Office software. They have done this in essence by adding new file saving options to Office applications and connecting them to a document checkout service running on the Internet. [...]

  3. Microsoft rebrands CRM Live as CRM Online | Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Back in October, 2007 Microsoft established a new branding policy for its online offerings and in keeping with that has announced that henceforth its hosted CRM Live application would henceforth be named CRM Online. No changes in the expected 2Q2008 general availability – just a name change. [...]

  4. Microsoft anticipates a tidal wave of Exchange outsourcing | Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] In case you aren’t familiar with it, Exchange Online is Microsoft’s not yet generally available offering of hosted Exchange to customers who would prefer to outsource the provisioning, maintenance, and operation of their Exchange servers. As I observed when the Microsoft Online Services nomenclature was announced, "this is just good old fashioned managed hosting," and Microsoft partners have been offering the equivalent of Exchange Online for years and are continuing to offer it despite Microsoft clearly having set their sights on the market. There’s probably room for some partners to survive alongside Microsoft, but not very much. [...]

  5. Microsoft unveils new Microsoft Online Services offerings | Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] had the problem of undercutting partners who were offering equivalent hosting services before Microsoft Online Services was even a gleam in Microsoft’s eye (e.g. hosted Exchange). An obvious salve for the wound is [...]

  6. Microsoft unleashes Exchange Online and SharePoint Online | Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] case it is not clear, these Microsoft Online Services offerings are merely managed hosting by Microsoft of Exchange and SharePoint. They allow [...]

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