So the big day is finally here and Microsoft has finally staked a claim on a part of the cloud; from now, you’ll be able to access your often-used Office suite of programs through a browser instead of having to install them from a CD or a pen drive as you’ve been doing all these years. Office Web Apps is now available on the cloud, so you can share your Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote files with people on the same project and collaborate with your colleagues more easily. You no longer have to email documents and spreadsheets for revisions or approval and then wait for them to get back to you. Now it’s possible for others working with you to access them from the cloud, thus enabling real-time sharing of data.
Although Microsoft is a late entrant to the world of cloud computing and offering software as a service instead of asking customers to buy it outright as a product, it stands to gain because the product it is offering is the same, and it’s only the packaging that’s different. Most people have preferred to stick to MS Office rather than migrate to Google Docs, even though they can access it through their browsers, simply because they are used to the Microsoft environment. And this is why the cloud version will appeal to those who have been tempted to move over to Google Docs just because it was free and easier to collaborate on projects.
The biggest advantage that Microsoft stands to gain from moving some of its offerings to the cloud is that piracy will be minimized or even wiped out completely. If you have to use MS Office as a pay-as-you-go model instead of buying a CD with the software, how can it be replicated and distributed along piracy channels and so deny the company millions of dollars in revenue? So yes, we can expect piracy to reduce, and also expect Microsoft to give Google a run for its money!
Time will tell if Microsoft tastes success on the cloud, because although it has a long way to go to catch up with Google and the others who went down this route a while ago, this software giant enjoys a reputation and market share that cannot be beaten in the near future. So if they maintain quality and set a reasonable price, there’s no reason why Bill Gates’ baby cannot do well on the cloud.
By-line: This article is contributed by Susan White, who regularly writes on the subject of High Speed Internet Service. She invites your questions, comments at her email address: email@example.com.