Microsoft’s Office head talks Google and more

Stephen Elop is convinced that even in a world of free, browser-based productivity software, consumers and businesses will continue to pay for Office. Microsoft will bow to reality with Office 2010, adding browser-based versions of Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and OneNote. But, in an interview this week, the head of Microsoft’s Business Division says that there is still plenty of life in the full version, CNET reports.
"At the highest level, what we’re able to put forward to our customers is not just the best productivity experience, but one that spans the PC, the browser environment, the Web environment, services, and so forth, and the mobile device," Elop said. "So, it’s the best productivity experience across the PC, the mobile phone, and the browser."
At its worldwide Partner Conference on Monday, Microsoft will give people a feel for how this works and is expected to start broader testing of the first piece–the desktop applications. As for Google, Elop said that most businesses still think of Google as a search company or are just kicking the tires on Google Docs. He shrugged off the fact that Google this week brought the products out of beta.
"I’ve heard that the word was dropped," Elop said. "I didn’t notice that anything else had changed. So I don’t know if the software suddenly got better, or they just changed the name."
He also said it is too soon to have an opinion on Google’s just-announced Chrome OS…

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