Microsoft goes after Google with a free version of the Office suite

When your chief business rival is giving its product away, you have two choices: either sit back and watch your customers migrate to the other team, or match what the other company is doing.

For three years, Google (GOOG) has offered Google Docs, which offers free browser-based document and spreadsheet software. Google Docs has chipped away at Microsoft Office's stranglehold on the category. Apparently weary of losing its customers to Google, the software giant is finally taking action and doing what some thought it would never do: give away its Office suite.