Google upgrades its free office

The office war between Microsoft and Google appears to be hotting up with the search engine outfit upgrading its word processing and spreadsheet programs.

The changes include several editing tools for word processing and quicker ways to fill cells in spreadsheets. While this is new for Google, it has been part of Redmond’s office programme for ages.

Google has been forced to provide the functionality after icrosoft recently released beta versions of its Word, Excel and Powerpoint packages online for free through Web Apps.

The lighter versions of office will be available to non-Microsoft users after Office 2010 is released to consumers in June.

Google has been having a crack at luring users away from Microsoft’s products to its cloud based services for several years.

However it has found that many companies remain reluctant to entrust their technology to an outside service that could be hacked or go off-line.

It used to be that Google could justify to companies that the service would save them a lot of dosh, but Microsoft’s free packages mean that they have to compete with functionality too.

Besides there is always OpenOffice.