10 April 2002 Microsoft has asked a number of web sites to take down a presentation that purports to offer details of Office.Net, the next version of Microsoft Office.
The sites claim that the presentation was part of market research conducted by Microsoft into possible subscription models for its Office software suite. According to the presentation, Office.Net or Office NGO (Next Generation Office) could be made available as a series of online services accessed through Office Professional. “Once you have purchased the suite,” the presentation explains, “you can use it for as long as you like, just as you do today. However, updates and upgrades to the Office suite are not included in the subscription.”
Two other versions offer an annual subscription to both online services and a subscription version of the suite. When the one-year subscription ends, customers can either renew their subscriptions or purchase upgrades. If they do nothing, Office will only be able to view and print documents.
New features are aimed primarily at remote collaboration, with options to send and receive faxes from in-boxes, store documents online, share documents online and set different levels of access to a ‘team workspace’ for viewing and editing priviliges.