Office in the Cloud, Avoiding Demo Hell

Nicholas Carr has a post on Microsoft’s Office in the Cloud.

Microsoft to offer Office-in-the-cloud

October 28, 2008

Microsoft's long awaited push into cloud computing continues today, as the company announces plans to offer fully functional, if "lightweight," versions of its popular Office applications as web services that will run in people's browsers. The move signals Microsoft's intention to defend its massive Office business against incursions from Google Apps, Zoho, and other online competitors. Versions of the apps will be available in both ad-supported and subscription models, according to Microsoft's Chris Capossela:

We will deliver Office Web applications to consumers through Office Live, which is a consumer service with both ad-funded and subscription offerings. For business customers, we will offer Office Web applications as a hosted subscription service and through existing volume licensing agreements. We will show a private technology preview of the Office Web applications later this year.

I’ve worked with Chris Caposella, and Chris is infamous for a demo with Bill Gates when he was Bill’s speech writer.


Chris has passed on the demo duties for Office in the Cloud to Takeshi Numoto.  The good thing is Takeshi’s demo didn’t have the blue screen of death.  Which maybe is the good thing about cloud computing demos with built in redundancy.  Here is a post on his demo.

Microsoft Office 14 To Include Web Apps

The software maker has yet to set a release date, but industry watchers say the online suite could be available next year.

By Paul McDougall
October 29, 2008 12:59 PM

Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT)'s plan to offer a Web-based version of its Office productivity suite will debut with the release of Office 14, the successor to Microsoft Office 2007, a company executive said Tuesday.

Office Web, as the online version is called, is part of Microsoft's "vision for delivering great user experiences across the PC, phone, and the Web in Office 14," said Microsoft Office general manager Takeshi Numoto, speaking Tuesday at the company's Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles.

Numoto did not specify a release date for Office 14. Bloggers at some tech sites, however, have said the suite is likely due out in 2009. Office 2007 debuted in January 2007.

Numoto said that the Web-based versions of Office applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote would allow users to collaborate with others and across multiple devices more efficiently. "This is a great example of Office enabling dynamic collaboration across the PC, phone, and the Web," said Numoto.

Numoto did not offer insight into pricing details, such as whether users who purchase the boxed version of Office 14 will get free access to the Web version.

In launching the suite, Microsoft is looking to protect its flank from Google -- which last year launched a host of free and low-cost office productivity applications under a brand called Google Apps. For a single monthly fee per user, enterprises can roll out Google Apps to as many employees as they like.

Takeshi is a great guy, and I watched his demo at minute 134.


Takeshi doesn’t look a day older than when I met him his first day on the job which is over 10 years ago. It is a small world. I also used to work with Takeshi’s wife when she was at Sony.