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Windows 8 Turns Microsoft Focus to Cloud

Microsoft is making significant efforts towards curing a leadership position as a cloud-computing services provider, and the company's announcement of Office 2013 is a key milestone. The new version of the popular Office productivity suite will be tightly combined with the company's SkyDrive cloud-storage service, which in turn is a key built-in feature of Windows 8.

Microsoft has not announced pricing but for the new Office, nevertheless Windows 8 Pro upgrades cost only $40 provided users upgrade online directly from Microsoft. This is the most aggressive pricing the company has ever set for its flagship operating system, and it could be an indication of Microsoft's approach to Office upgrades.

Office 2013 will save documents on SkyDrive by default, provided users log in with their Microsoft user ID. The first storage pool is free, nevertheless users will have to pay for additional storage if they want to add more data into the cloud. Microsoft did not discuss versions of Office for Apple's iOS or Google's Android at the presentation, yet SkyDrive apps are already available.

The Windows 8 Pro upgrade is not more expensive

While some may find it suspicious that the Windows 8 Pro upgrade is not more expensive, it as a matter of fact makes sense considering that software companies thrive by collecting small fees on a regular basis. That is, Microsoft aims to cash in from users who will upgrade to the paid version of SkyDrive. As more users add more data into the cloud, the conversion rate for paid users will automatically go up. Microsoft's vision is to have users seamlessly connect their assorted devices, including smartphones, tablets, desktop PCs, and laptops, through SkyDrive.

More information: Mobilenapps