Oracle has decided to give Microsoft and Google some competition with its new productivity suite Cloud Office. Cloud Office is based on open office and is also based on ODF (Open Document Format). It includes a spreadsheet application, Text presentation and supports online collaboration. It is compatible with Microsoft Office .The compatibility with Microsoft office comes through a plug-in which is not free. Oracle is charging 90 dollars for it. It has been primarily linked with the Oracle Open Office 3.3.

It can be used to share documents over the internet and boasts of mobile compatibility. It supports sharing of document through its compatibility with Microsoft Office and web 2.0.

“Customers now have the flexibility to support users across a wide variety of devices and platforms, whether via desktop, private or public cloud,” commented Michael Bemmer, vice president of Oracle Office.

This is not just about competing with Google and Microsoft but an attempt at a grab for the slice of the current 3.3 Billion Dollar industry which in the next ten years could grow up to 20 billion Dollars. Whatever Oracle’s intentions are, it sure has raised concerns among the supporters of Open Source software.

Cloud office comes with a hefty price of 49.95 dollars per user for the standard edition and 90 Dollars for the enterprise edition. It is only for businesses and will be delivered as a SaaS (software as a service) service.

Oracle has made massive attempts at the release of CloudOffice to promote it. Oracle in its official blog states that “Oracle office will help end users to reduce cost by up to 5x, help in greater collaboration and lead the your organization into an open standard strategy with ODF”

OpenOffice of which oracle is a major contributor states in its mission statement “To create, as a community, the leading international office suite that will run on all major platforms and provide access to all functionality and data through open-component based APIs and an XML-based file format.” So this Cloud office by oracle is clearly an attempt by oracle to steal into Microsoft’s revenue stream.

However, this has ruffled some feathers back in the open office camp led by oracle where 33 members walked off and formed The Document Foundation as a separate development group. Oracle has tried to play down the concern over the release of CloudOffice by maintaining its stand behind OpenOffice and continuing its support in the growth and development of OpenOffice.