Sunday, August 27, 2006

Google battles Microsoft with new online software tools

Internet giant Google Inc. took the software battle deeper into Microsoft's territory with a new package of online services for small-business users.

Google said it would offer businesses tailor-made versions of its free email service Gmail, instant messaging, voice calling, shared calendars and basic design, publishing and hosting of websites.

The company is marketing its "Google Apps for Your Domain" service to smaller companies, non-profit groups and universities that want the full range of web-based corporate services without the cost.

"The service scales easily to accommodate growing user bases and storage needs while drastically reducing maintenance costs," Google said in a statement Monday.

The service expands on basic online software already offered by Google such as word processing and spreadsheets that analysts say are part of a strategy by the search titan to take on industry leader Microsoft at its own game.

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