Microsoft to launch web-based Office

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ref="http://www.cityam.com/company/microsoft">MICROSOFT will release three versions of its dominant Office software that users can access over the Web, in the latest salvo in an intensifying war between Microsoft and Google.<br /><br />Microsoft will offer consumers free web-based versions of its Office suite of programmes, including a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation software. The move will see Microsoft catch up with products that rival Google launched three years ago, and comes within a week of the announcement that Google plans to challenge Windows with a free operating system.<br /><br />Microsoft will also host one internet business version of Office at its own data centres, charging companies a yet-to- be-announced fee. Companies with premium service contracts will have the choice of running a second web-based version from their own data centres for free.<br /><br />The news came as a survey by ScriptLogic showed that six out 10 companies do not plan to buy Microsoft&rsquo;s Windows 7 operating system when it is released later this year due to cost constraints.