Anyone observing tech trends for the last decade knows that Microsoft has been excited about arriving to the party — even if they show up a bit late, they’re still adamantly excited. From Windows 3.0 to the Zune to AdCenter, MSFT has worked diligently and unsuccessfully to copy their competitor’s devices and business models then out-do them at their own game. This losing game of catch-up has caused many in the tech community to question “What happened to Microsoft?”
Today, Microsoft announced plans to release a touch version of the stalwart Microsoft Office Suite. They are again arriving just a few minutes (or months or years) too late. According to the Washington Post, the new Microsoft Office 2013 will be released first in the cloud. This isn’t very different from its Office 365 program, but they are still missing the point — Why should people pay for Office then they can get Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) for free? What will Microsoft bring to the table that isn’t already present its competitor’s free cloud office suites?
You may get the chance to find out sooner than you think. PCWorld speculates that a public beta may be available as soon as the end of the summer. This public beta would mimic their current strategy with Windows 8 (available here as a free beta), and the open beta appears to be their development method of choice.
Is Microsoft on the way out? Maybe. What can we learn from Microsoft’s latest choices? When you struggle to keep up through innovation, then copy, crowd-source, rinse, and repeat.
You can check out images of the new Microsoft Office over at Engadget.
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