Get this: Microsoft – the king of paid software – will announce today that it is going to give a version of Office away for free online. Both the online and desktop versions are scheduled to arrive in the first half of next year. Yes, you read that right. The latest version of its ubiquitous productivity software, dubbed Office 2010, will come as both a piece of software you can buy for your computer, and as a service you can access in your browser. [UPDATE: Microsoft says it will support the Firefox and Safari browsers as well as IE.]
For free. From Microsoft.
For those of you that have been living under a rock, blogging incessantly, or doing whatever it is that gets you though the day, Open Office and Google had been doing a fantastic job of slowly, but surely, marginalizing the overly expensive, bloated, and resource intensive applications that made up the Microsoft Office suite. Google had gone as far as announcing, last week, Chrome OS for netbooks, further infringing on Microsoft turf.
Now the sleeping giant is awake.
God help us all.
Or is that, God *is* helping us all?