Microsoft's Free Office Online Details Emerge
Good-bye Office Web Apps. Microsoft is readying a free, cloud-based version of its productivity suite under a new name.Like SkyDrive (soon to be OneDrive), Microsoft's Office Web Apps appear to be headed toward a rebranding of their own. A page on the company's Website displayed the planned Office Online packages, including a free version that offers 7GB of storage and cloud-delivered versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley posted a screenshot of the product matrix before Microsoft pulled the page. To date, Office Web Apps took a backseat to SkyDrive, noted Foley. Office Online will flip things around. "Up until now, Microsoft has touted Office Web Apps more as a feature of SkyDrive, its cloud-storage offering soon to be rebranded OneDrive, and/or as an Office 365 feature," stated Foley. Microsoft announced on Jan. 27 that the company is renaming its SkyDrive cloud storage platform to OneDrive. The move follows a court defeat last summer in the U.K. Justice Sarah Asplin of the England and Wales High Court ruled on July 28 that SkyDrive infringed on trademarks held by the British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB).
The companies reached an agreement, the terms of which were undisclosed, that would allow Microsoft to use the SkyDrive brand. In a press statement, the companies announced that "Sky will allow Microsoft to continue using the SkyDrive name for a reasonable period of time to allow for an orderly transition to a new brand."