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Microsoft Sneaks Out Office Web Apps

Shouldn't this be a bigger deal? Microsoft, all in for the cloud these days and all that, finally flips the switch on a free, Web-based version of Office, and it gets the same treatment news-wise as tomorrow's elementary-school lunch menu. (We're hearing hot dogs and tater tots, by the way. But that's unconfirmed.)

OK, so we all knew that it was coming. But it seems like kind of a shame that Redmond chose not to give OWA (doesn't that sound like a rapper's name or something?) a more prestigious debut. This is, after all, the long-awaited free version of Office that will challenge Google's growing Google Apps franchise and will make Microsoft a serious player in the mainstream cloud-computing business. Right?

Not only that, but in our (extremely limited) experience, OWA actually looks pretty darn good. At first glance, it seems a lot more robust than Google Apps -- which your editor uses every day. So, Microsoft really seems to be on to something here, but it's playing the whole thing in a rather nonchalant manner.

Be chalant, Microsoft! Or something…you know what we mean. We realize that Redmond is probably trying to figure out how to build a user base for OWA without killing the Office cash cow, but here at RCPU, we use both Web-based and client-based "productivity" (no jokes, please…) software every day. So, it's not a zero-sum game by any means. And the birth of OWA shouldn't be a zero-news announcement, either. That's why we're writing about it here…

What are your first impressions of OWA? Send them to [email protected].

Posted by Lee Pender on June 09, 2010


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