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Microsoft to miss target date for Office Web Apps preview

Microsoft Corp. will miss its target date for releasing a technical preview of Office Web Apps, the Web-based versions of software in its Office productivity suite.

The company had planned to release test versions of the applications in August, but they will not appear before the end of the month, Microsoft confirmed.

“While they will not be available by the end of August, we are still planning to release them soon,” an e-mailed company statement said. Microsoft did not provide more specific information about when the test applications will be available.

Office Web Apps are Web-based versions of Microsoft's Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote desktop applications. Microsoft's decision to put its Office productivity apps online is a reaction to competition from Web-based productivity applications from Google Inc. and others in the low end of the market for productivity applications.

The final versions of Office Web Apps remain on track for release at the same time Microsoft releases Office 2010, the next desktop version of its productivity applications. Microsoft has said Office 2010 will be available in the first half of next year.

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