A Free Office is a Smart Move for Microsoft
I’ve read a few articles this morning concerning Microsoft’s move to release a web version of its upcoming Office 2010 product. This is a direct fire toward Google’s application suite and I think Microsoft is going to this help their dominance in this market. Microsoft really isn’t going to lose any major businesses to this free online version. Corporations are going to continue on with using the thick client because of the full rich suite of integrated components that Office has always given them. This is going to be take market share from places like Google because now the folks that wouldn’t pay for office will be able to benefit from it using this online version.
In the long run I hope to see Microsoft move away from the thick client. I think Microsoft now needs to come up with an online version that can be hosted within companies. Some companies won’t move this mode of operation because of the inherit security risks of hosting you data on Microsoft servers. So I bet the next version of office will have some new internal online flavor for companies looking to move more toward thin clients and thin apps.