At PDC, Takeshi Numoto, Microsoft’s General Manger of the Office Client, announced that the next Office, Office 14 will offer web apps of Office applications, including OneNote, Word and Excel. The Web-based apps will allow instant collaboration from anywhere. Numoto showed how two users, one in the office and one sitting at an Internet cafe with only a Web browser, can edit the same document at the same time without and see the changes each is making and communicate. Better still, the Web versions look and act pretty much like their desktop equivalents, complete with accurate rich formatting and the toolbar ribbon. Looking at the Office Web applications projected on screen next to their hard-drive-based siblings, we had a hard time telling them apart. The Excel below is actually a Web app. If you didn’t see the browser nav at the top, could you tell?
On top of all this, it looks like Office 14 will make it easy to embed dynamic data in Web pages. Numoto took an Excel chart and embedded it in a blog, then made a change to the spreadsheet that the chart came from and watched the chart update dynamically on the blog.