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UPDATE 1-Cisco may take on Microsoft in office software
* Cisco may offer Web-based office programs
* Would put Cisco in competition with Microsoft, Google
* Not interested in taking on Salesforce.com
BOSTON, June 30 (Reuters) - Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O) is considering offering Web-based alternatives to Microsoft Corp's (MSFT.O) popular Office software as the networking giant expands on the Internet.
Cisco Senior Vice President Doug Dennerline said on Tuesday his company may develop a service that would allow business users to create documents they could draft and share through its WebEx meeting and collaboration service.
Internet-based alternatives to Microsoft Office cropped up about five years ago, but corporate users have yet to embrace them. If the approach does take off, it could become big business: Microsoft's Office division rang up sales of $60 billion in the software company's most recent fiscal year.
Google Inc (GOOG.O) sells Google Apps, an Internet-based alternative to Microsoft Office that includes a spreadsheet, word processor and presentation software.
Dennerline, who manages Cisco's online collaboration products, said he is interested in getting into that area.
"That is an interesting space. We are certainly thinking about that," he said on Tuesday during an online news conference. He did not elaborate.
WebEx services currently includes online meetings, email and instant messaging.
He also said Cisco is not interested in competing with Salesforce.com Inc (CRM.N) in selling online applications that companies use to manage sales and marketing activities.
Analysts have long speculated that Cisco planned into that business. (Reporting by Jim Finkle; editing by Andre Grenon)
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