Computer Corner #27
By Bob Habas
Formally of computer Connections


Microsoft Office Enters the Cloud

Officially joining the browser-based productivity game, Microsoft recently released their browser-based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

The Office Web Apps are slimmed down versions of the desktop counterparts, allowing for document viewing, sharing, and lightweight editing. Consumers get free access to the tools, along with 25GB of storage as part of Windows Live, while businesses can also host their own version of the Web Apps using the latest version of Sharepoint. The browser-based versions require an active Internet connection.

These Web-based applications will function as an extension to their desktop counterparts, bringing the best of both worlds together. 95 percent of the users who use these Web-based versions of the products will be able to accomplish most of what they need in the cyberspace environment.

Users will no longer be tethered to any specific hardware device to get to their office applications. They will be able to access these Web-based applications through Microsoft Office Live Workspace, a service that allows the management of documents (similar to Google Docs).


Office Web applications are meant to compliment locally installed Microsoft Office products instead of fully replacing them. The good news is you don't need IE to run the web-based version. Office Web applications will also run on Firefox and Safari. With this development, people can benefit from Office as a service on their browser, as a downloadable application on their phone, and as software on their PCs.
Microsoft has also built the Web apps into a new version of Hotmail and created a labs effort called that allows the sharing of Office documents over Facebook. 

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