Microsoft shows off real time co-authoring for Office Web Apps

In May, Microsoft announced plans to introduce real time co-authoring of documents while using the free Office Web Apps. This week, Microsoft released a new video showing this upcoming feature in action, along with a blog post that talks more about this long requested addition.

The official Office blog states that the real time co-authoring feature does not matter if the user is accessing Office Web Apps on Windows, iOS or Android platforms. The blog adds:

The fact for example that in Excel users will be able to co-author at a cell level and output charts and analysis real-time goes beyond even typical desktop usage scenarios today.

The blog also says that people who want to try out the co-authoring features right now and are signed up to use either SkyDrive or SharePoint Online, can go ahead and use PowerPoint in Office Web Apps for some real time creation experiences.

So far, Microsoft has yet to give a time frame when the full co-authoring real time features will be added to Office Web Apps. Last week, the company added Office to iOS devices if users have a current Office 365 subscription and are based in the US.

Source: Microsoft

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This is absolutely amazing and exactly what my team has been waiting for. Can't wait for this to go live!

siah1214 said,
Does this work with the desktop versions or just the web versions?

You still have to resave to update on the desktop. But it will still show you if someone has it open.

I seem to remember moving a company to Google docs because it offered this exact functionality. Better late than never, though.

Is it just me or does anyone else find the idea of someone else editing the document I'm working on in real-time distracting? I mean, what if I want to do something and before I can do it, I'm seeing the other cursor move to the same location and doing something else? Or even if I'm brainstorming and trying out different things, the document keeps on changing so I can't reread what I've just written. I would be very annoyed very fast.

With that said, being able to do all this in a browser is bloody amazing.

Random observation - did that interviewer seem more interested in her than in the features she was showing off? His responses were so nonchalant lol

I would think that any time more than one person is working on the same document (especially in the same area of the same document), they'd be talking with each other over something like Lync or Skype.

At least that's how I've been doing it, the very few times I've been working on the same document (on Google) with coworkers.

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