Microsoft adding more features to free Office Web Apps

In February, Microsoft added some new features to its free suite of online Office Web Apps, including the ability to quickly add images found on the Internet on a document. Today, Microsoft outlined some of its plans for future Office Web Apps updates.

In a post on the Office blog, Microsoft says that one of the biggest new features in the works is real time co-authoring of documents. At the moment, two or more people can collaborate on documents in Office Web Apps at the same time but changes to those documents can only been seen when the apps are refreshed. Microsoft states:

We’ll introduce real time co-authoring in the Office Web Apps so that all file authors will automatically see presence and edits from others as they happen without needing to refresh. This is a subtle change, but a great enhancement to enable even richer collaboration.

The PowerPoint Web App already has seen its co-authoring features upgraded, which can be seen in the video above, and Microsoft promises to improve this feature for PowerPoint Web App users in the next few months, while also adding these features to the other members of the Office Web Apps family.

Microsoft also will add support for Office Web Apps on Android tablets, via the mobile Chrome browser, in the near future, joining its support of Windows 8 tablets and iPads. The blog added:

We've prioritized features that make it easier to work via the Web, including things as simple as adding find and replace in Word Web App to improving the general experience by speeding up launch times and making file management simpler.

Source: Microsoft

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Yay. Finally. About time. One of the reasons why we used Google Docs for timesheet in my university office.

Glad to see they're still using Contoso and Northwind Traders lol.

"Subtle"? I think it's groundbreaking for Office Web Apps, since I thought it wasn't really going to address that to be honest. I'm glad to see that Microsoft's adding this feature.

I hope they add this too... but currently no it doesn't. At least not in 2010... my work has Office 2013, so tomorrow I'll check if it exists in 2013 since it's deeply connected with the SkyDrive.