updated 4/12/2010 4:52:01 PM ET 2010-04-12T20:52:01

Google has upgraded its online package of word processing and spreadsheet programs so they work even more like the Microsoft applications with which they're competing.

(Msnbc.com is a joint Microsoft - NBC Universal venture.)

The changes introduced Monday include several editing tools for word processing and quicker ways to fill cells in spreadsheets. The new features have long been staples in Microsoft's widely used Office suite of software.

Google Inc. has been trying to lure users away from Microsoft Corp.'s products for several years in an effort to siphon revenue from one of its biggest rivals.

The main distinction between the two programs is that Google hosts its applications over the Internet while Microsoft's software is typically installed on individual computers.

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