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Google unveils new features for online productivity software

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Google Inc. stepped up its challenge of Microsoft’s dominance in online software Monday by adding new editing features to its word processing and spreadsheet software that increase speed and collaboration, the Internet giant said Monday.

Google said the features address some of the frustrations users commonly experience with online software. Google Docs can now load documents faster, lets users see edits in real time and import documents without losing the formatting. Users can also now collaborate on drawings.

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The new features will be available to those who use the free version of Google Docs and business customers who buy the services at a cost of $50 per user. The features were announced at a conference for information technology professionals at Google’s Mountain View, Calif., headquarters.

Google unveiled its online software in 2006. Microsoft’s latest version of its hugely profitable productivity software called Office 2010 will begin shipping to business customers next month. Microsoft is trying to fight off a growing number of challenges from Google and other companies such as Zoho. My colleague David Sarno covered one of the most interesting battles here.

-- Jessica Guynn


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