Microsoft Finally Rolls Out Office Web Apps
Many months after announcing its development, Microsoft has finally beta launched MS Office Live, which is officially called Office Web Apps. It’s only available to a limited number of Windows Live users right now with open availability in early 2010. Users will have online access to a Web App version of Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote that should integrate seamlessly with their offline counterparts. This is great news for consumers and businesses — users can securely share and collaborate on documents internally or access them while traveling on a laptop or smartphone. Obviously Microsoft already has competition from existing online office suites like Zoho and Google Docs. It’s true that many users will turn to Office Web Apps because of the familiar brand name and look. But existing users of GoogleDocs can be lured away if Microsoft’s offering proves faster than molasses-like speeds we’re used to. If Web Apps isn’t an improvement, then both companies and consumers are likely to stick with what they currently use.