Google has launched a service designed to help workers and companies migrate away from Microsoft Office.
Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office allows Office users to collaborate on documents created in Office 2003, 2007 and 2010 for Windows. Google said that it is not able to offer support for Office for Mac owing to a lack of API access.
The service will be available as a Microsoft Office plug-in, and allows users to share and simultaneously edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files.
Google hopes that the service will expose Office users to online collaboration tools, and present the first step in migration away from the Microsoft productivity suite to the hosted Google Apps platform.
"Instead of bombarding each other with attachments and hassling to reconcile people's edits, your whole team can focus on productive work together," said Google Apps product manager Shan Sinha in a post to the Google Enterprise blog.
"More people will be able to achieve a 100 per cent web future entirely in Google Docs after learning the benefits of web-powered collaboration within traditional software."
Google is also offering to help entire businesses migrate from Office to Google Apps with a '90-day Appsperience' package allowing companies to purchase a trial subscription to the Google Apps enterprise platform.
The package includes company-wide subscriptions to Google Spreadsheets, Docs and Presentations, as well as the Google Sites web management tool, the Google Forms survey tool and Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office.
Companies will have the option to buy the service at the end of the 90-day trial period at the normal $50 (£31) per user annual subscription price.
The 90-day Appsperience package costs $7,000 (£4,350) for deployments of 50 to 500 users and $15,000 (£9,300) for companies with more than 500 users.
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