Microsoft is working to offer an online version of its Works software:
Microsoft is still working out the details for its online offering. And nothing will likely be decided until after its flagship productivity software, Microsoft Office 2007, ships early next year. But after that, Microsoft will likely put tweaked versions of the Works spreadsheet, word-processing, and project management programs on the Web.
It's a delicate dance for Microsoft, though. The company is keen to compete with new offerings from Google and others that provide free productivity applications online. But offering a rich set of services could undermine its lucrative Office hegemony.
The services will be designed to help consumers share documents they create and collaborate on projects with friends and colleagues, rather than just e-mailing files around. Parents can post soccer schedules for the kids. Small businesses can create customer contact lists for their employees. The Microsoft brass sees it as filling a niche the company's PC offerings can't touch. "The sharing scenario that the Internet offers us is an awesome opportunity to do things we aren't doing well today," Capossela says.