CNET News Video: Daily Debrief: Microsoft Office online
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CNET News Video: Daily Debrief: Microsoft Office online

3:47 /

Of all the announcements to come out of Microsoft's Professional Developer Conference in Los Angeles, Webware Editor Rafe Needleman is most excited about the company's version of Google Docs. On this Daily Debrief, he explains to CNET's Kara Tsuboi why he's pleased to see a competitor to Google's free, shareable, Web-based program and why Microsoft's entry to the market could be timed just right.

[ Music ] ^M00:00:02 >> Welcome to the Daily Debrief, I'm CNET's Kara Tsuboi here with CNET News Webware.com Editor Rafe Needleman. And Rafe, the Microsoft Professional Developer Conference in Los Angeles really turned out a lot of pretty significant news, but you're very interested in one specific detail of the news. Why don't you explain? >> Yeah, it's not -- it's a big deal. Microsoft has said that they're going to offer a competitor to Google Docs, the online competitor to Microsoft Office. So the next version of Office which goes into Beta in 2009, there will an online component where you will be able to edit your documents, word processing, spreadsheet, presentations online without having a software installed. >> Very interesting. >> And collaborate with other people who are using the documents like you can with Google Docs right now. >> Exactly and that's one of the most compelling parts of Google Docs. >> Yeah. >> That you can invite people to look at it. >> Right. >> Change it and share it. >> So Google Docs is kind of feature-light. I mean it does 90% of what 90% of the people need, but it doesn't have the richness and have the feature set or the UI that Microsoft Word does. Now that -- a lot of people like that, but nonetheless, it's true, it's a limited set, but it does give you this incredible capability to collaborate with somebody in real time or if you want to share a document with somebody just send them a link and it share. >> Now another feature that we all love about Google Docs is that it's free once you have your own... >> Yeah, exactly. >> You know, Gmail or G account, iAccount, whatever it's called. Will this Microsoft version be free? Do we know that yet? >> We have a pretty good idea that there will be a free version of it. >> Okay. >> But Microsoft is not going to stop selling the applications. They're going to continue to sell Office. This will be a version of it that is the less feature-full and less expensive, but basically we don't know. They said, look, Office Live, which is not Office -- Office Live has free and paid and subscription versions available of it. Do the math. >> Right. >> That's what they're saying right now. So we don't know yet. >> And see what's worth it for your needs. >> Yeah. >> Have they released a time when we're gonna have our hands on this. >> All we know its Beta is in 2009. >> Okay. >> And looking forward to it. I mean, I think the people are saying, Google beat them to the punch and it's too late for Microsoft. That's not the case. There are still so many people who are locked-in to Microsoft Office that this will give them the option to do what really we want, which is to not worry about whether we're online or on a PC or wherever we are, where data is, just not worry about it. This is my document, here it is. I'm disconnected, I have it. I'm connected, I have it. I can share it, whatever. It's still very, very early in the Web 2.0 application game and I think Microsoft is getting into it at just about the right time to make a big impact. >> Of course, and what Microsoft offers that Google doesn't is the synchronicity. >> We hope, yeah. >> We hope, you know that it can connect with your Word document, your Outlook e-mail, you know all those other products that you know business users... >> Right. >> Tend to really love. >> We hope. I hope these apps are good. I mean, Microsoft's online version of Outlook -- Outlook Web access stinks. It's a terrible application. >> I know, yes. >> Yes, it's awful. And I hope that with the new technology available now, you know all the Ajax technologies, the more capable browsers, the more capable computers that they will be able to build, and they would build online versions of their productivity apps that are really similar in functionality and interface to their standard apps. The capabilities are there and the technologies are there to do it. >> Sure. >> I hope they do do it and don't try to keep reminding us that we didn't buy the real application which would be a real set back. >> Yeah, definitely. Well, since we still have a few months to go we look forward to updates and we'll wait and see. >> Yeah, that should be exciting. >> Thank you so much. Webware.com Editor Rafe Needleman, I'm Kara Tsuboi, we'll see you on the next Daily Debrief. ^M00:03:45 [ Music ]

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