The guy who created Hotmail is back with a new set of applications that are a direct clone of MS Office delivered through a browser. My initial reaction: Who cares? We already have at least 10 companies doing the same thing, including Google who have the biggest footprint...but read on:
Live Documents is similar to Google Apps, launched in February and used by companies including Proctor & Gamble, General Electric and Capgemini as a cheaper alternative to Microsoft. However, Mr Bhatia claims that his product is superior to Google?s in its range and quality, most crucially because it mimics Office 2007. Most of Office's estimated 500 million customers have yet to upgrade from the 2003 version, while it is not available for Apple computers.
He said. "This will do for documents what Hotmail did for e-mail. Why spend $400 on an upgrade when you can get it for free?"
InstaColl (Bhatia's company) said that it was not infringing copyright because of a legal ruling that concluded that it was not possible to patent the "look and feel" of a computer interface.
The thing that Mr Bhatia is missing is that companies aren't upgrading to Office 2007 because it's hard to use, has a bizarro interface and offers few if any compelling reasons to shell out $$$ for an upgrade.
Office 2007, the biggest advance in the system in ten years, took more than 2,000 Microsoft programmers three years to develop. Thirty-two software engineers in Bangalore, India?s IT hub, took four years to break Microsoft?s code so that they could replicate it online.They should have used the four years to create a good product. What a waste of time and effort.