Microsoft Office Live has gone, erm, live today for many users and it's an excellent product. For all those people out there who are saying that Microsoft do not get the web you are wrong. I think Microsoft now gets exactly what the web is all about in terms of keeping it's customer base happy while keeping it's revenue streams intact.
Live Office lets you create your docs in Office, which I imagine will be Live soon enough, save it through a small plugin and then access it from anywhere and share it with your colleagues. What's more you can work on it with a colleague, save versions and track changes. This is a great application for small and medium businesses and for the average home user.
Live Small Business allows a business to quickly and easily get a web presence. With simple web creation tools, reports and advertising. It also lets you track customers and employees and keep pretty good records on both. This is exactly what every business that can't afford a web developer and a large IT infrastructure needs.
I think Microsoft are starting to show their teeth in the online market. The competition from Google, and no offence to Apple but it's the only real competition Microsoft has had in the last few years, may at last be waking the giant from it's slumber. Those people who are saying that Microsoft are simply playing catchup and are copying what others have already done should remember that that's what Google did when it first arrived on the search scene and that's what Microsoft itself did when it created Windows 3.1 with the GUI interface, copied from Apple I and II. Both of them copied an idea that was already there but they did it better and they succeeded. Who's to say that's not going to happen again.
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