Oracle enters cloud office apps space

Business applications vendor Oracle has entered the cloud-based office applications space, in a move that will step up its competition with Microsoft and Google.

The Silicon Valley giant’s new Oracle Cloud Office suite offers on-demand word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and database software based on the company’s existing Open Office file formats. The applications will support online collaboration and access from mobile devices.

"Customers now have the flexibility to support users across a wide variety of devices and platforms, whether via desktop, private or public cloud," commented Michael Bremmer, vice president of Oracle Office, in a statement.

The new set of products will compete directly with Google Apps and Microsoft’s new Office 365 suite. Both of these incumbents provide office software hosted on their respective vendor’s cloud infrastructure.

Oracle entered the office and document space with its acquisition of Sun Microsystems earlier this year, which included the open source Open Office suite.

Analysis published by IT industry watcher WinterGreen Research earlier this year valued the cloud-based office software market at $3.3 billion at the end of 2009. It forecast that this would rise to $17 billion by 2016.

Peter Done

Peter Done is managing director of Peninsula Business Services, the personnel and employment law consultancy he set up having already built a successful betting shop business.

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