Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Microsoft to take wraps off Office Live in preview

Microsoft said on Monday that it is set to begin testing an online version of its popular Office software in a first step toward shifting some of its computer-based products to the Web to fend off rivals such as Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc.

Starting on Wednesday, the world largest software maker plans to offer a "beta" or general test version of Microsoft Office Live for free to help work out any potential problems prior to a full-fledged commercial release later this year.

Microsoft dominates the market for software installed on a computer's hard drive with its Windows operating system and its Office business application franchise, which packages together word processing, speadsheet, presentation and other programs.

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