Microsoft opens up

Microsoft opens up

Software giant announces public availability of Office Live Workspace shortly after receiving record EU fine

Microsoft has emerged fresh from its recent financial battering by the European Union (EU) by announcing the public availability of Office Live Workspace.

The software giant, which recently pledged to be ‘more open’ was lambasted by the EU for the amount it charges rivals for information on its software and fined a record £688m. But from this week Office Live is now available for free registration online.

Onlookers previously questioned Microsoft’s pledge to change its technology and business practices to become more open for developers, partners, customers and competitors.

Microsoft assured critics that it will open connections, promote data portability, enhance support for industry standards and foster more open engagement with customers and the industry, including open source communities.

Stephen Elop, president of the Microsoft Business Division, said “By combining the rich client experience of Microsoft Office with flexible, intuitive service offerings, Microsoft is providing a seamless computing experience for our 500 million Office users worldwide.”

Tim Kimber, head of the Office Live UK division, added: “Customers have asked for an easy way to save their documents from Office to the web, so that they can get to their information if they’re away from their PC. People also get frustrated with the confusing free-for-all­ that can result when multiple versions of documents circulate in e-mail attachments that then have to be manually pulled together by the original author.”

Kimber said: “Microsoft is hopeful that Office Live Workspace will help solve these challenges by providing a place online to keep a single version of a document that everyone can work on and feel secure in the knowledge that they’re working on the latest draft.”

“Microsoft Office Live Workspace addresses the growing demand among our customers for on-the-go access to projects and the ability to collaborate with others regardless of where they live or work,” he added.