Microsoft Office 2010 set for showdown with Google Apps

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Microsoft Office 2010 set for showdown with Google Apps

The battle between Google and Microsoft for the online applications market is set to intensify this week with the launch of Office 2010 on Wednesday, signalling Microsoft's biggest pitch yet for this burgeoning area of the software market..

A vital part of Microsoft's online push is the Office Web Apps (OWA) element of the suite, of which has managed to gain a sneak preview.

OWA comprises versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote that can be accessed via a browser. But they have limited functionality compared to the full client versions and Google's online apps.

As such OWA is being marketed by Microsoft as complementary to the full Office 2010, rather than as a replacement.

Not to be outdone, Google has attempted to make its own online applications service more useful with the announcement that, from this Autumn, more of its applications will be accessible through Google Apps accounts.

"Nine of the top 20 requests from Google Apps customers are for their accounts to work with more services from Google, not just for the core suite of messaging and collaboration applications," said Dennis Troper, product management director for Google Apps, in a blog post.

"Later this year we will dramatically accelerate customer access to innovation, and give users the convenience of using any Google service allowed by their administrator from a single account affiliated with their organisation. "

All Standard, Premier and Education Edition Google Apps customers will be transitioned to the new infrastructure in a few months, the firm said.

This will mean that co-workers will be able to publish their organisation's blog on Blogger, share project images with Picasa Web Albums, track industry news in Google Reader, and advertise online with AdWords, all without switching back and forth between multiple accounts, according to Google.

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