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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Microsoft's Downloadable Office Suite

Microsoft has announced a downloadable, subscription-based version of it's popular Microsoft Office, codenamed "Albany". The suite is currently available to users who signed up for beta testing and will offer Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007, with the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. According to this CBC article, "It will also include the Microsoft Office Live Workspace connector on the Microsoft Office toolbar, where users will be able to save documents online and share them with others, as well as security and backup services." Microsoft is not planning on retiring the sale of software on media, stating "At the same time, we are definitely not straying from our traditional software sales model. There will always be a significant number of users for whom purchasing a perpetual license to the latest version of Office is still the best choice." While no one is suggesting that Google's Docs are posing a serious threat at this time, I think Microsoft is seeing software as a service as a reality.