CEO Tom Kelly- Moxie Software- High Resolution Photo

Forget about the cloud storage wars; competition is fiercer than ever in the cloud collaboration space.

Today, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Moxie Software announced it is offering Collaboration Spaces, its business-focused social networking software for free. “General purpose collaboration, what Jive and Yammer do, we now deliver better and for free,” said Moxie Software CEO Tom Kelly (pictured, above) by phone.

With this release, Moxie is taking a clear swipe at the competition. “I can’t imagine why someone would write a cheque to Jive without trying this,” Kelly explained.

Business software has been accused of being poorly-designed, and rich with unused features. So to ensure the collaboration product is “eye candy for the enterprise,” Kelly enlisted the help of storied design firm IDEO. Cloud startups like Box and Evernote have made similar claims that they intend to make user experience design a priority.

Why would the company offer one of its most popular products for free? Kelly believes the  general purpose collaboration space will be commoditized in a few years. To get ahead of the curve, Moxie hopes its free product will attract customers to try its other services.

Moxie is positioning itself as the “customer communication” expert; according to Kelly, it’s the only vendor that can “turn your company into an answer machine.”

Jive Software’s chief communications officer Amanda Pires responded that Jive isn’t threatened. Pires said, “People pay for what they value which is why Jive has more than 800 large enterprise customers across the world and continues to lead the industry.”