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Old 05-10-2010, 02:50 AM   #1
LXer NewsBot
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LXer: Big leap: Microsoft makes free version of Office, its cash cow

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In the beginning, there was word processing. Then, simply, Word. Spreadsheets became Excel. Presentation software, if it was ever known by such a name, was simply PowerPoint. Long before Google's preeminence in search, Microsoft dominated business and personal software with a suite known as Office. The company launches its latest version, Office 2010, on Wednesday in New York and the stakes couldn't be higher. The lucrative franchise is threatened by a changing market spouting a four-letter word: free. The biggest threat comes from Google, specifically Google Docs, Web applications accessible from any computer. Because of Google, Microsoft has been forced to make a free ad-supported version called Office Web Apps.



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