Microsoft is finally seeing the light (or cloud I should say) and will be making available (for FREE) a browser based (light weight) version of Word, Excel, Powerpoint and One Note to members of its free Windows Live online service. It is my understanding that if you have a Windows Live account (i.e. Hotmail account) you will be able to access these applications for FREE in your web browser (including Firefox). It is anticipated to be available sometime next year (2010) as Microsoft Office 2010 is rolled out. It is currently unknown if these cloud apps will be ad supported or not.
This is a major step for Microsoft in an effort to compete with the likes of other cloud based services that already offer similar functionality, such as Google Docs. This may be an excellent solution for many people out there, such as the “Moms and Pops” who only need a “light weight” version of these apps to perform lightweight tasks (such as drafting a letter or simply as a means to open an Office document).
According to Microsoft, you will be able to
“View documents across PCs, mobile phones, and the Web without compromising document fidelity. Create new documents and do basic editing using the familiar Office interface”.
You can learn more about the upcoming web based version of Microsoft Office 2010 [ HERE ] and by watching the video below.