So the big Microsoft reveal turns out to be a free, online version of Office.
Didn't this come a while back, in the form of online saving thing that you needed office installed already for?
Even if it's not, and it's a version of google docs, I question the need, outside of course the one-up / copy / rip off of google docs. First of all, Microsoft doesn't live in the online space nearly as much as google. With google we're used to doing things online, with the RSS reader, mail, etc. Microsoft's offering in this realm is pretty small, hotmail for mail, and, uhm.... what else?
Secondly, this really smacks of "they have one so we have to have one too". Microsoft seems to have forgotten that they aren't online providers. They don't make money off of search (or at least as much), and they have a perfectly good set of desktop OS and apps that 90% of the world uses! I use google docs now and then for quick and dirty tasks, but even I, the evil anti-Microsoft guy I am, know that for "real" jobs you have to pull out excel, word and friends.
The article quotes:
"Web-based tools are not taking share away from Microsoft's desktop Office suite," Webster said. "But to the extent that these products are complementary, Microsoft needs to get in the game. They risk losing users as people get more comfortable using Web-based tools. And they risk losing their edge."
Maybe competition in this market is good? There are a bunch of online editors (or at least there used to be), though none of them seem to have the access / convenience of google docs, or the access to your local files as I'm sure Microsoft will have though their (I assume) IE only / activeX laden tool. Still, looking forward to seeing it when it comes out.