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.