Web-based Office to work on Macs, iPhone

On Microsoft's Channel 10 site, a blogger notes that the forthcoming Office Web Applications will take the productivity software to places its never been, such as the iPhone and Linux.

A Microsoft blog reiterated this week that the Web-based version of Office won't be tied to either Windows or Internet Explorer.

In a blog posting on its Channel 10 site, a Microsoft blogger noted that, owing to support of Firefox and Safari, the forthcoming Office Web Applications will run on Linux and the iPhone.

The blogger, Microsoft's Sarah Perez, also noted that Microsoft won't be mandating use of Silverlight, its rival to Adobe's Flash.

"Silverlight is not required," Perez said in the Q-and-A posting. "Using Silverlight will enhance the user experience, resulting in sharper images and improved rendering. Also, the Office Live Workspace has integrated Silverlight technology into the multi-file upload function for a better experience."

Microsoft has said a technical preview of the Web-based Office apps will come later this year. Microsoft hasn't explicitly said there will be a free version, though executives have said the apps will be part of Office Live, which comes in both free and subscription flavors. Perez takes that to mean--as do I--that there will be both free and paid options.

On the corporate side, Microsoft has said the Office Web Applications will be tied to SharePoint.

The forthcoming Web-based version of Microsoft Word, like online versions of Excel and PowerPoint, won't be limited to the PC, Microsoft says. Microsoft