The company will offer “Office Live” to help smaller companies grow and manage their businesses online. The service, which will initially be available by invitation only, will help companies build an online presence, automate key tasks and collaborate, according to Microsoft. It can be used separately or integrated with the Office suite of software used for applications like e-mail, scheduling, spreadsheets and word processing.
For consumers, Microsoft unwrapped a “Windows Live” service that combines tasks like instant messaging and e-mail and a service for creating Web logs. Among the new service’s features, users will be able to move information from one computer to another and can subscribe to a security service to help shield their PCs from viruses and other threats.
Interesting that Microsoft is taking the online software fight right to Google.
“Seamlessness is key to the live strategy,” said Microsoft Chief Technical Officer Ray Ozzie. “There’s a significant opportunity for revenue growth through advertising as it pertains to software as a service.”
The new web software will initially be supported by advertising revenue, though the company will later offer paid subscriptions.
Update: Thanks to Susan for quoting Fortune Interactive.