Microsoft has upped its online Office ante with the announcement of the Office 365 for Professionals suite.
Essentially a revamped version of what was Business Productivity Online Suite, the package comes in two different forms ready for you to save and share your work be it personal letters to your mum or something more important and work related.
The first, designed for professionals and smaller businesses allows for access to online community support, a month to month subscription and Office Web Apps. It is priced in at £4 per month.
The more expensive offering is for medium sized businesses and comes with proper IT config, as well as Office Professional Plus, bringing with it updated versions of the 2010 suite. There is also 24x7 IT admin support, and a choice between either pay per month of yearly contracts. The larger plans start at £6.50 per month and go up to £17.75.
The service is designed to work on just about every platform possible, taking full advantage of the cloud to share documents between devices. This means Blackberry, Apple and Android handsets and tablets can use Office 365.
Microsoft has made a big risk with moving its Office software onto the cloud. The company generates vast amounts of revenue from its desktop software and the online alternative could dilute revenue.
Google has hit back against the Microsoft setup. Well known for its cloud based docs, the craftily entitled "365 reasons to consider Google apps", points to Microsoft as adding to an old formula, with Google creating something new. Google Apps Product Manager Shan Sinha also explained that Google apps is for groups, but Microsoft is too focussed on its own technology, making 365 more a desktop and individual setup.
Business class security comes as standard with both, as well as an easy to manage backend for those that might not have masses of IT experience.
Current subscribers to the Business Productivity Online Suite will see their accounts upgraded to the new system.
For those interested checkout Microsoft's Office 365 page to find out more.
Google apps? Of Microsoft's offering?