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Is Google About To Eat Microsoft Office For Lunch?

Could the end be near for Microsoft Office? There's mounting evidence that Google is about to launch an all-out assault on the productivity suite, by releasing similar software, including a word processor and calendar, available free online.
First, within the last week, screenshots and details about the upcoming Google calendar leaked onto the Web.

It's a slick-looking and feature-rich calendar. Most notably, it ties closely to Gmail. One would expect it to be particularly powerful for group scheduling as well. With a powerful, free calendaring/email program like that, who needs Outlook?

More intriguing is the rumor reported by Om Malik that Google is in talks to buy Writely, a company that makes a browser-based word processor.

If Google comes out with a free starter suite complete with word processor, email software and calendaring, Microsoft Office could face big trouble. And that would be just a start -- expect other productivity applications to follow suit.

A key indicator to Google's plans will be whether it buys Writerly. If it does, that means the assault on Microsoft is about to begin.