Like Free Software? You’ll Love Microsoft Office 2010

Microsoft Office has been the best selling piece of software for five years running. How does the company plan to compete when it releases Office 2010 Wednesday? Make most of it available for free.

To counter the popularity of Google’s online Docs application, which bundles a word-processing tool, spreadsheet editing, presentation functionality and more into one free app, Microsoft is adding its own free online component: Web apps.

The Office 2010 suite, which Microsoft will release to business customers tomorrow and to consumers in early June, will include the ability to create, edit, view and share files online using the company’s SkyDrive website. In fact, you won’t even need to buy the program to use the online tools; Microsoft will make the majority of Office functionality available for free to anyone — whether they’ve bought the new suite or not.



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