So Microsoft wants to take some of the shine off Google's Chrome OS. Could this do the trick?
According to web chitter chatter the software giant plans to make a major announcement on Monday that will remind everyone who's the daddy. Speculation originally suggested this could mean a public debut for 'Gazelle' its next generation browser which protects web apps and isolates browser tabs to reduce crashes (a la Chrome amusingly). This seems unlikely with IE8 so recently out the door though and now it appears the big surprise will be the formal launch of its Office Web suite.
Designed to show Microsoft can be Cloud friendly, Office Web is a higher end challenger to Google Docs and Acrobat.com and aims to bring as much of the desktop Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Word experience to the browser as possible. Unlike previous Microsoft online software such as Web Outlook these new additions are said to run with full functionality on all browsers, not just Internet Explorer.
Mooted models include a free ad-supported edition for consumers and subscription based models for regular users and small businesses. It is also possible that Office 2010 will launch its first public beta.
Yes, it isn't exactly a whole new Cloud based OS but if Microsoft gets Office Web right it could just return a few wandering eyes to the Redmond stable long enough for Windows 7 and potentially Midori to win back heart, minds and lucrative business contracts...
In related news Leaks are said to have identified the pricing for the rumoured Windows 7 Family Packs that surfaced last week. Dailytech reports $136.95 (£83) is apparently the cost for a three licence Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade box but since there will be no upgrade editions in Europe (or indeed the ability to upgrade at all) it waits to be seen it this has any influence of UK RRPs.