The term "Microsoft Killer" is thrown about a lot, and at various times it has been used to describe everything from $199 Linux-based PCs at Wal-Mart to open-file formats. With a company as big as Microsoft, I really don't think that there is anything on the horizon that could truly "kill" the company, especially as Microsoft tends to find true threats to its business model and simply buy them out. One Indian developer, a co-founder of the Hotmail service that Microsoft bought in 1998 (no doubt to fold the technology into Microsoft Exchange), has recently announced that his new "Live Documents" service will allow Office users to not only create and share their documents through a Web browser but to more easily collaborate on those documents over the Internet.
An advance preview by the Indian site, "The Hindu," generated reports that the spreadsheet and presentation features are almost identical to their Microsoft Office 2007 counterparts, while the word processing application is like a mix between Microsoft Word 2003 and 2007. The Live Documents site has a link to request an invitation, but the reports are that its infrastructure needs to be upgraded, pushing invitations back 3-4 weeks. One blogger who felt unhappy with his inability to get an invitation but pressured to write by the large number of blogs on the pending service, said that he felt that "we all got duped" into writing about something that doesn't exist yet.
Give online life to desktop documents (The Hindu)
Coining a term: SaaS-turbation (CNET blog)
The blogger may be on to something, in my opinion, as this software seems tailor made to be sold to or draw a lawsuit from Microsoft. The reports that the interface looks exactly like Office 2007, the name of the service (Live Documents dovetails in nicely with the rest of the "Live" services from Microsoft), and the fact that the creator has already made a nine-figure sale to Microsoft ($400 million for Hotmail) lead me to believe that the creator developed this software specifically to get another big payday from the software giant.
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