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Is Live Documents a Microsoft Trojan Horse?

Digital Inspiration (opens in new tab) shares some screenshots of Live Documents, launched by an Indian startup backed by none other than Sabeer Bhatia, the guy who sold Hotmail to Microsoft.

Live Documents is an exact duplicate of Microsoft Office 2007 except that it runs in a browser. Amit Agarwal ran the flash-based beta version in Internet Explorer 7 and found that the way the web applications reacted was flawless, "way ahead of competition from existing online Office suites" to quote Amit.

Firefox versions as well as an Open Office suite version are planned as well.

The Bangalore-based (opens in new tab) company has a disclaimer on their website saying that they acknowledge the Microsoft trademarks and that Microsoft is not involved in any way in Live-documents.

As Mandy Rice-Davis (opens in new tab) would put it, "They would say that, wouldn't they".

Microsoft Office 2007 proprietary features like the dynamic ribbon, the gradient look, down to the fonts have been copied.

The Redmond behemoth has been very aggressive with regards to plagiarism and intellectual property; indeed last year, it said that it was going to license Office (opens in new tab) "look and feel", although it would be free and Techcrunch (opens in new tab) is yearning for someone to call a lawyer.

Many like Arrington's website (opens in new tab) have been dismissive of the project, pointing to basic flaws like the fact that the domain name had yet to be purchased (it is currently pointing to a parked page) and that the product has yet to be brought out of alpha, one year after it was announced.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.