Microsoft is planning to deliver Office Web applications – lightweight versions of the Office products – through users' Web browsers.
Senior vice-president Chris Caposella says that extending the Office applications in this way to increase choice and flexibility for users.
"As part of the next release of Office, we're announcing that Microsoft will deliver Office Web applications – lightweight versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote – through a browser," says Caposella. "With these new applications, people can use a browser to create, edit, and collaborate on Office documents.
"What's great is that this provides a consistent Office experience when and where our customers want it, regardless of whether they are accessing their Office documents through the PC, phone, or browser."
Caposella says Microsoft's strategy is to delivers all of its technology as software plus services, and the new technology is part of this strategy.
"With Office Web applications, people can benefit from Office as a service on their browser, as a downloadable application on their phone, and as software on their PCs," he says. "This is the kind of flexibility that our software plus services approach makes possible."
The idea of the desktop has changed from being PC-centric to being device-independent, using a browser, says Caposella.
"Our customers want a seamless, synchronised experience across multiple devices to help them work smarter, faster, and better. Office Web applications will make that a reality."
Office Web applications will be delivered to users through Office Live, Microsoft's consumer service. For business customers, Office Web will be offered as a hosted subscription service and through existing volume licensing agreements.
A preview of the Office Live applications will be shown later this year.