Google, Zoho Challenge Microsoft Abroad, Too

Prithwis Mukerjee, a professor of management at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur in eastern India, needed a convenient and low-cost way for his students to create spreadsheets. But rather than turn to Microsoft (MSFT), the granddaddy of spreadsheet software, he opted for a lesser-known maker of free, Web-based software that gives his students more flexibility than Microsoft's Excel. "Many people don't have Excel, and that becomes a big challenge," Mukerjee says.

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