Microsoft introduces Office Online, aims to grow its online user base

Microsoft announced in its blog today that it has collaborated its and Office Web Apps, and revamped them to launch Office Online. This new product of the company is basically an improved version of the existing online office softwares, with improved collaboration features.

The company also admits that even though its online services for MS Office have existed for a while now, it still has very few users. This could be because of the stiff competition it is receiving from Google Drive.

Office Online is free of cost, and offers web versions of Word, Outlook, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote etc. The usage requires a person to sign in with a Microsoft account, and all the files created are stored in OneDrive cloud storage. Similar to Google Drive different users can collaborate and work on a single document simultaneously.

This product also has a number of free new templates for Word, PowerPoint and Excel. For the users of the desktop version of Office, they can sync it with the online version in real time, and share their work with colleagues and friends using either desktop or online applications of the same. The cloud-enablement of Office 2010 and 2013 allow users to work on desktop applications where they can work online and offline and save the files locally.

As mentioned earlier, this move by Microsoft has an uncanny resemblance to Google Drive. Where it lacks in having a relatively small reach, it could make up by luring users who usually work offline on MS Office and then upload documents to Google Drive to share them.

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