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Microsoft is launching a cloud-based version of its Office software package.

Named Office 365, the service puts its Outlook, Word, Excel and other programs on the web.

Microsoft will make these programs accessible via laptops, tablets and desktop computers, as well as Apple and Android Smartphones.

Office 365 will be formally launched on June 28 via events in London and New York.

Service charges are based on the size of the business that wants to use it.  Small businesses with less than 25 employees for example will pay £4 per user, per month.

Larger organisations will need to pay from £6 to £17.75 per user, per month, with the package giving a broader range of extras including advanced archiving and unlimited storage.

Customers can host the applications using in Microsoft’s data centres, use dedicated servers in those centres or put the programs on their own hardware in their own data centres if they choose to do so.

This web version of Microsoft Office appears to be their attempt to combat Google’s growing threat.