Microsoft prepping to launch cloud-based online version of Office

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As part of an effort to compete with Google ( GOOG ) Documents, Microsoft ( MSFT )announced on Wednesday that it soon will begin testing a cloud-based online version of Office.

Office 365 is easily accessible for workers and users via any device on any browser. Reuters ( TRI ) reports it will work on smartphones and the iPad, and it's accessible via Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Chrome. The program was developed with assistance from Microsoft's Customer Advisory Board.

"Office 365 is the best of everything we know about productivity, all in a single cloud service," said Kurt DelBene, president of the Office Division at Microsoft. "With Office 365, your local bakery can get enterprise-caliber software and services for the first time, while a multinational pharmaceutical company can reduce costs and more easily stay current with the latest innovations. People can focus on their business, while we and our partners take care of the technology."

One small business official lauded what the new program has to offer, saying options abound immediately when the program begins. His Washington State company serves on the Microsoft Customer Advisory Board for Office 365.

"For a small business, Office 365 is a perfect way to start," said Rob Nichols, chief technology officer of Allovus Design. "It has all the features we need, and we can come out of the gate with the same tools the big guys have - on day one."

Office 365 will be available worldwide next year.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Personal Finance , Technology

Referenced Stocks: GOOG , MSFT , TRI

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