Microsoft's Office Web Apps go live

Neowin on SkyDrive

Anyone keeping up with Microsoft Office news in the past year knows about Office Web Apps. With Office 2010, Microsoft has promised the world a free version of its world dominating office productivity suite via the web browser. Unlike traditional versions of Office, Web Apps will live in the cloud and have limited functionality. As of yesterday, the new service has gone live to the public.

On the Windows Team Blog, Microsoft has officially launched Web Apps for everyone in the US, UK, Canada, and Ireland. It is also accessible to other countries as well, just not yet in their native language. Web Apps is built around your personal SkyDrive, which gives you 25 GB of free online storage space for all of your documenting needs. With the desktop version of Office 2010, documents can also be saved to your SkyDrive, then revisited and shared online through your web browser. This makes accessing your personal files on-the-go a cinch. Web Apps also allows multiple people to collaborate on a single document simultaneously, while still maintaining a version history in case you ever need to go back in time. You can even view your saved documents on most smartphones.

At office.live.com, you are greeted with your typical Windows Live ID login screen. Once inside, you will see the ability to create Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, or OneNote notes. You can also upload existing files from your PC, making the move to SkyDrive an easy one. If using a Silverlight enabled browser, you will gain the additional ease of dragging and dropping your files directly from your PC into SkyDrive.

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51 Comments

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I think I am totally missing how to change line spacing, I was hoping I'd be able to use stuff like this for projects while using my Linux Netbook on the road, but maybe I'll have to stick to WINE + Office 2k7

MrEggsalad said,
I think I am totally missing how to change line spacing, I was hoping I'd be able to use stuff like this for projects while using my Linux Netbook on the road, but maybe I'll have to stick to WINE + Office 2k7

What's wrong with OpenOffice? Or Google Docs?

Page layout in Word Web App makes it totally unusable.

Do people still edit documents in that layout? Am I missing something? Is there a Page Layout option I can't see?

eilegz said,
not working in opera 10.6 so far

Duh, Typcically Microsoft, prolly just another campaign to get people using their beloved IE8.

causa45 said,

Duh, Typcically Microsoft, prolly just another campaign to get people using their beloved IE8.

Then how do you explain the fact that it's working in Chrome and Firefox ?

When I chose Office->New Word document I get an error message saying:

This item might have been deleted, expired, or you might not have permission to view it. Contact the owner of this item for more information.

All I'm trying to do is create a new doc... Confused

It seems very usable for basic online document tools. I'm guessing it's only going to get better from here.

Love the interface and all that but unfortunately the speed is still quite slow compared to Google Docs. But this is their first release, so let's keep our fingers crossed!

For word its missing.. print layout for editing, print while editing, does not format the document correctly in edit mode (missing tab spaces for example), insert symbol, margins, boarders. Until then it's actually worse than google docs.

Doesn't seem to work, whatever I click like "New Word Document", I get that this document has expired. I am using latest Chrome on OSX. Probably just a release bug, but looking forward to try this out

fenderMarky said,
Goodbye Dropbox...

I'm starting to think the same. 25GB is a lot more than 2GB (or more after paying).

So here's a question: how do you upload OneNote notebooks? I can't find a way without using the final version of the Office 2010 desktop software.

Vernon de Goede said,

Who has windows 98..........

yes true but it's still supposed to work, unless your browser is as much archaic

It looks nice! Sent an email internally at my office..since mostly we all send the document by email to everyone, just to make sure they read it...(but now, we need to just give them the permission and add a note , such that windows live will automatically send an notification of the shared doc!)

As said on the WIndows Blog, it does indeed work on the iPhone (that's what the blogger used). I'm surprised it doesn't work on the iPad. Maybe that'll come later.

njn007 said,
As said on the WIndows Blog, it does indeed work on the iPhone (that's what the blogger used). I'm surprised it doesn't work on the iPad. Maybe that'll come later.

Maybe the iPad shows up as an iPhone to the server so it spits out the mobile site? I guess it needs some tweaking.

GP007 said,

Maybe the iPad shows up as an iPhone to the server so it spits out the mobile site? I guess it needs some tweaking.

Most likely the case. I'm sure if another browser that lets you change the user agent is used, you wouldn't have this problem. One such browser is Perfect Browser.

GP007 said,

Maybe the iPad shows up as an iPhone to the server so it spits out the mobile site? I guess it needs some tweaking.

Nvm, it is the site flipping the browser back...

cRuNcHiE said,
Doesn't work on the iPad, you just get the mobile site.

Duh, the iPad doesn't have a true web browser. That's what happens when you put a mobile operating system on a Slate.

I've been a fan of Google Docs for quite some time and was really hoping that this would be better as I do like the Office Suite and use Excel a lot. After playing around with it, I've got to say that I initially still like Google Docs better...

Greenstein said,
I've been a fan of Google Docs for quite some time and was really hoping that this would be better as I do like the Office Suite and use Excel a lot. After playing around with it, I've got to say that I initially still like Google Docs better...

Because you've used it for years. This is brand new, give it some time. I guarantee that MS will deliver a better product than Google in this case: Office Productivity is what MS does best.

Spreadsheets is OK but word processing isn't still there yet imo. People that are used to Word will find missing or annoying features in Docs. I really want Docs to rock but eveytime I use it I find I can't get a document to look how I want it to. It would also be nice to see each page as a single page rather than one long never-ending page.

Google has the better background features like collaboration and sharing, when they get their apps up to scratch I will move my documents fully. For now though, I will stick with using just the mail, calendar and contacts on my Apps domain.

Electric Jolt said,
No... Major changes are to come...this is has nothing to do with Wave 4.


Yeah it does actually.. this is Wave 4. Well, the web apps roll out of it anyway. Wave 4 Essentials (the desktop software) is still to come, as is the Wave 4 Hotmail rollout.

It's weird how I was in my Skydrive and hour ago and noticed I could create/edit Word documents. Just thought that it was a new feature. Didn't know the whole thing was launched!

intrinity1 said,
Awesome! A long awaited feature.

You've got that right. I just wish that the PowerPoint app would support animations/transitions made in Office 2011 Mac Beta 4.

I like what they are doing with Skydrive and now it looks like it will play a major role in Microsoft's 3 screens and cloud strategy.