A blog post
on the Microsoft-run Channel 10 site has verified that the upcoming Office Web product, which we wrote about earlier --- Office in the browser, in other words --- will work on Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer, on multiple platforms.
As we previously wrote, this is finally a real answer by Microsoft to Google Docs, an application suite based in the cloud, though as Microsoft said, lighter versions of the apps.
From the post's Q and A, by Sarah Perez:
Q: Do the Office Web Applications require Internet Explorer?
A: No! Office Web applications will work across multiple platforms and browsers including Safari and Firefox, too.
Q: Will the Office Web Applications work on the iPhone?
A: Yes, in the Safari web browser.
Q: Will the Microsoft Office Web Applications work on Linux?
A: Yes! It does not matter which operating system is used as long as you're running a supported web browser.
Q: Will the Microsoft Office Web Applications be free?
A: We don't know for sure yet, but Microsoft will deliver Office Web applications to consumers through Office Live, which is a consumer service with both ad-funded and subscription offerings. That seems to imply a free (ad-supported) and paid (subscription) offering will be available.
It's somewhat strange that Microsoft doesn't know if it's going to provide a free ad-supported version. Still, with Google Docs around, it would be foolish for them to not provide one.
Office Web is scheduled to launch when Microsoft rolls out Office 14, the next version of Microsoft Office. Office 14 will also be the first version of Office to run on Linux.
Office 14 is expected to debut in late 2009, and according to the Channel 10 post, a private
technology preview of Office Web will begin later this year.