Google brings the cloud to Microsoft Office

Things are starting to heat up between Microsoft and Google, with the search giant releasing a plugin for Microsoft Office today that allows users to directly edit Google Docs from the comfort of their very own word processor.

Google announced on its Enterprise Blog a new plugin called CloudConnect for Microsoft Office. The service allows users to edit documents directly in Microsoft Office products, and automatically syncs back to Google Docs on every save. It even offers a form of "collaborative" editing, too. The document can be edited by multiple individuals at a time, but changes won't be seen live, which could cause issues.

It's worth noting that unlike the online Google Docs editor -- which saves as you type -- CloudConnect requires you to press the save button, and apparently, this is by design. Jonathan Rochelle, Google Docs product manager says this is down to users expectations, as it's always been this way in Office, and it makes no sense to change it now.

CloudConnect comes after Google purchased DocVerse, the company that built the original software. Right now, it is in a limited preview form for Apps for Business customers (who can sign up here, if they weren't lucky enough to get an invite). The product will be available for everyone, not only Google Apps for Businesses customers when it is officially released.

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24 Comments

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Actually , this is a very great news for indians who only know abt whatever *crap* google releases.. they keep exploring only google's software ... tommorrow people will say "Hey!! google launched a new software for Ms word, it allows to save your docs online!!! ... how awesome is that" .. they have no idea that there is something called skydrive which was in existence waay back... point being product is a win jus because of people like them... it's always been a fashion in india lot of them opened a email account only after Gmail released .... they dont know Yahoo,hotmail, aol and lot many.. and this is the reason why orkut is filled with indians.. they did not know Facebook even existed.... untill google releases their own polished version of web application some will remain ignorant of existing ones and they will alwyas speak highly of Google's product blindly

Google is good at search, that's it. They're the default for the uber-geek as well as Joe user because their search works in a way we can easily navigate and recall for fast surfing. But, just like Microsoft can't make a iPod killer, Google cannot make an interface that's logical and useful outside of the realm of search with the exception being gmail. but, as most will note in here, gmail has been lacking in a meaningful interface from the start but we learned to deal with it.

Discombobulat0r said,
+1
Should have made it a section of the ribbon.

I do agree - had this been part of the ribbon I would have given it a shot - as is i will pass.

I don't think Microsoft will do anything about this as I don't think they would be as petty as Apple..... would they?

neo158 said,
I don't think Microsoft will do anything about this as I don't think they would be as petty as Apple..... would they?

Naah. AFAIK, the office license allows you to write plugins for the software. MS still get their money for office, and this encourages people to stay with what they know

rtire said,

Naah. AFAIK, the office license allows you to write plugins for the software. MS still get their money for office, and this encourages people to stay with what they know

Besides, the best GMail client also is out of Redmond - specifically, (don't faint!) *Outlook*.

Since I first became a GMail user, Outlook has been my GMail client of choice; however, Outlook 2010 cements their position with little things (not merely native IMAP, which was in Outlook 2007, but auto-configuration of IMAP is now standard, putting this mailbox format on par with POP3 and Exchange). Others may try and woo me away from Office - however, it's the constant stream of fixes and improvements that have those of us that are in our second decade with the productivity suite asking 'Me? Move? Why?" (I came to Office with the Windows 95 version from "WordPerfect for Windows 6.0a", surprisingly due to better backward compatibility with older WordPerfect documents in Word 95, and I've stayed put ever since.)

neo158 said,

Nice to have alternatives though, isn't it?

IT's nice to have an alternative but not to claim that they bring the feature to Office.

TekmanRO said,
You're kidding, right? Google brings the cloud? More like "Google brings their own limited version of the cloud, one year too late..."

Or, for unbiased news reporting, "Google brings their cloud to Microsoft Office".

TekmanRO said,
You're kidding, right? Google brings the cloud? More like "Google brings their own limited version of the cloud, one year too late..."

Like the comment above, its for people who have Google accounts. There are a lot of people who have Google Accounts and a many use Google Docs. Microsoft isn't really threatened by it either given that you are musing Office prior to saving into the cloud.

I think it's nice, though I will agree that Office with Office Web Apps is better.

KavazovAngel said,

Aye.

Save & Send -> Save To Web... how hard is that.


I don't agree with that, designing a computer interface is all about having an intuitive design, and if you reduce something that would normally take three clicks to do down to one single click, that's a winner.