Microsoft Releases Office Web Apps on SkyDrive
Microsoft is announcing the availability of Office Web Apps on SkyDrive for users in select countries. The platform gives users the ability to view and edit Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote documents online, via the browser. Microsoft hopes that such cloud functionality will give it an edge in the battle against Google Apps and similar Web-based productivity suites, which occupy a small portion of the market but threaten to increase their share in coming years. Microsoft made Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 available to business customers starting May 12, with consumer rollout of the software scheduled for June.Microsoft announced June 7 the availability of Office Web Apps on SkyDrive for users in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland. The ability to view and edit Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote documents online, via the browser, precedes the consumer release of Office 2010 by a week, and suggests the importance that Microsoft has placed on a more cloud-based strategy for some of its flagship products. Users can access the stripped-down, Web-based versions of those productivity programs via Office.Live.com. Once there, they can upload documents to the cloud, view and edit those documents, and collaborate on Excel and OneNote files in real-time. In addition, Microsoft provides the capability to view Word and PowerPoint documents on most smartphones. Two sub-features include version history, which allows the user to cycle through older edits of documents, and enhanced search, a more comprehensive drill-down into currently stored files.
Microsoft made Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 available to business customers starting May 12, with a consumer rollout of the software scheduled for later in June. As with Windows 7, Microsoft faces the challenge of convincing users that Office 2010 is worth the upgrade from previous iterations; unlike Windows 7, which justified its existence as a replacement for the maligned Windows Vista and the aging-but-stable Windows XP, Office succeeds a stable and well-regarded release.