Microsoft Office 2013 Looks to Compete in the Cloud
Microsoft will do battle against Google Apps by implementing Office 365 and its set of cloud-based apps along with Office 2013. This is very important for Microsoft because Google has pretty much dominated the cloud-based apps market. Office 365 can be purchased separately and exists in different tiers so that different users with different requirements have choices as to which apps to use and how to use them. According to Microsoft, Office 365 will include cloud-based e-mail, shared calendars, instant messaging and PC to PC calling along with videoconferencing as well as filesharing, external websites, antivirus and spam filtering. Those things will all be cloud-based and enterprise-level solutions will include even more flexible and expanded options.
These things are all in addition to usual office applications most people use such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc. Office 365 can be used with earlier versions of office and even without having Office installed. It seems that Microsoft is trying to be more flexible overall with its pricing and its offerings in general. There has long been a general perception that Microsoft has a corner on much of the software market but that has changed somewhat in the past several years to the emergence of competitors such as Google and Apple. It only makes sense that Microsoft should make moves like this to keep themselves competitive and attractive to the general consumer.