Oracle takes on Microsoft, Google with Cloud Office

But pricing for Oracle's online productivity suite remains unknown

Oracle on Wednesday announced Cloud Office 1.0, a Web-based productivity suite that is set to give online applications from Microsoft and Google a fresh dose of competition.

Cloud Office is integrated with the on-premises Oracle Open Office, of which version 3.3 was also announced Wednesday.

Like Open Office, Cloud Office is based on ODF (Open Document Format). It provides a set of spreadsheet, text and presentation applications and is compatible with Microsoft Office, according to Oracle.

Customers can use Cloud Office to collaborate on documents over the Web as well as access them on mobile devices, Oracle said. Information on supported mobile devices wasn't immediately available.

Cloud Office stands ready for "enterprise and carrier-grade deployment" thanks to its "Web-scale" SaaS (software as a service) architecture, but is available in on-premises form as well, Oracle said.

It will be sold to business users as Cloud Office Professional Edition. Telcos and ISPs can offer their customers Cloud Office in Home, Standard and Professional Editions, according to an Oracle presentation.

A perpetual license for Professional Edition costs US$90, plus 22 percent annual maintenance fees. Cloud Office Standard Edition will cost $40 per user when sold through a telco or ISP, with support acquired through the provider. Home Edition is not currently available, according to an Oracle spokeswoman.

Cloud Office is also available via subscription at $40 per user per year for Professional Edition and $20 per user per year for Standard Edition, the spokeswoman said.

Cloud Office's cost could be key to its success against incumbent offerings like Google Apps for Business, which costs US$50 per user per year.

Meanwhile, new features in Open Office 3.3 include plug-ins for Oracle's BI (business intelligence), E-Business Suite ERP (enterprise resource planning) software, and Microsoft SharePoint.

While Oracle has a long way to go in catching up to competing office suites, it is hoping to close the gap by positioning its products as more flexible and open alternatives.

Open Office 3.3 Standard Edition costs US$49.95 per user and is meant for companies with one to 99 employees. The Enterprise Edition, which includes many more tools, connectors and supported platforms, costs $90 per user with a minimum of 100 users, although volume pricing is available.

But interoperability with Office comes at an additional price. Earlier this year, Oracle imposed a $90 per user fee on an ODF plug-in that enables the sharing of files between Open Office and Microsoft Office. The plug-in had been available at no charge under Sun's ownership.

Still, Oracle maintains customers can reduce their office productivity license costs by up to a factor of five by using Open Office.

Oracle has faced scrutiny this year from backers of OpenOffice.org, the open-source version of Open Office, with some fearing the company would stop supporting the effort.

A number of OpenOffice.org developers recently formed an offshoot project, LibreOffice. Oracle later publicly reaffirmed its commitment to OpenOffice.org.

Oracle gave no indications in Wednesday's announcement that Cloud Office will also be released as open source.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags cloud computingopen sourceMicrosoftinternetOracleGooglecollaborationsoftwareapplicationsSun MicrosystemsOffice suitesCloud Office

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2018

Roam freely in the digital world. Critically acclaimed performance and security at your fingertips.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?