Office Web Apps for SkyDrive now available to all

Microsoft launched the preview version of Office 2013 earlier this week, but today the company announced the launch of a related product for users of its SkyDrive cloud data storage service. The new product is the Office Web Apps on SkyDrive.

In a post on the Office Next blog, Microsoft gave some of the details behind the SkyDrive version of Office Web Apps. In a nutshell, it lets users access Office documents with any device that has a web browser. User can sign up by downloading the Office 365 Preview version, or by signing into a SkyDrive account via a special web page. Microsoft adds, "Either way, you will get the same new Office Web Apps when you create or click on a Word, Excel, PowerPoint or OneNote document."

Microsoft launched the first version of Office Web Apps in June 2010. For the launch of the SkyDrive version, Microsoft also wanted to add some improvements to the web software suite. That included better authoring tools, adding touch support for hardware that supported such features, putting in support for co-authoring in documents and improved performance for editing files.

Microsoft has also added better support and performance for devices with mobile web browsers, such as iOS and Android-based products.

Source: Office Next blog | Image via Microsoft

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21 Comments

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I tried opening an excel file and got this:

"Someone else has the workbook checked out or opened in Excel; it can't be edited in the browser."

And STILL, Data validation doesn't work on the web apps, it's bloody annoying!

I tried it and it works really well but do the people you share the link with to collaborate need to be signed in to edit it? Or am I doing it wrong? That's one of the plus-es of Docs for me. No hassle in working on documents with other people.

grayscale said,
I tried it and it works really well but do the people you share the link with to collaborate need to be signed in to edit it? Or am I doing it wrong? That's one of the plus-es of Docs for me. No hassle in working on documents with other people.

From my experience with the previous version, yes, the collaborators have to sign-in before they can work on the same document with you.

Microsoft has a lot more in store for us, now that finally everything is coming together. Can't wait to see their next quarter figures when Windows 8 and Surface RT start flying off the factory. I can see Steve laughing already, knowing what's coming... Stay tuned

vhaakmat said,
Can't wait to see their next quarter figures when Windows 8 start flying off the factory.

the only place Windows 8 will be flying is into the trash can.

vhaakmat said,
Microsoft has a lot more in store for us, now that finally everything is coming together. Can't wait to see their next quarter figures when Windows 8 and Surface RT start flying off the factory. I can see Steve laughing already, knowing what's coming... Stay tuned

Like Windows Phone has been flying off the shelves . . . ?

dvb2000 said,

the only place Windows 8 will be flying is into the trash can.

Looks like the fruity fan boys are already running scared and praying to their fruity gods for a Vista fiasco repeat. Sorry boys, the giant has learned its lessons from it already. And will just go on an sell a few 100 million copies of Win8 again. The integration between SkyDrive and Office 2013 is just great. I tried it out and love it!

farmeunit said,

Like Windows Phone has been flying off the shelves . . . ?

You can judge the success of a product by the animosity it creates in people that have no interest in seeing it succeed.

So, I would guess Windows 8 will do rather well.

Microsoft has launched the Office Web Apps on SkyDrive, allowing people with a SkyDrive cloud account to access Office documents with any device that features a web browser.
That feature exists since years now. They have only launched the preview version for people using Office 365 preview.
John callaham fails once again.

Anthonyd said,
That feature exists since years now. They have only launched the preview version for people using Office 365 preview.
John callaham fails once again.

Read the article much?

"Microsoft launched the first version of Office Web Apps in June 2010. For the launch of the SkyDrive version, Microsoft also wanted to add some improvements to the web software suite. That included better authoring tools, adding touch support for hardware that supported such features, putting in support for co-authoring in documents and improved performance for editing files."

He's not saying that OWA is new, he's saying that there have been improvements made to it for O365 support, and that these changes are available for current subscribers (preview users) of O365, and anyone who signs up for the beta via Skydrive (link is in the article)

I've used OWA both before and after this change, and I can say that there are definitely some improvements beyond just the new UI

Anthonyd said,
That feature exists since years now. They have only launched the preview version for people using Office 365 preview.
John callaham fails once again.

Technically Word, Excel and Outlook have been available via a Web Browser going back to 1999.

However, this is not what John was talking about.

I joined in as well, just did a quick edit on an excel doc I had and it went very smoothly. Just opened the same doc in Excel 2007 without any issues as well. Yeah, I'm still using the old version locally, but I play to upgrade to Office 2013 along with Windows 8 later on.

Tried to open a document earlier from my skydrive and was prompted to join the preview. Its quite the step up from before. Almost like having program on your computer. Google docs what now?

dtboos said,
Tried to open a document earlier from my skydrive and was prompted to join the preview. Its quite the step up from before. Almost like having program on your computer. Google docs what now?

[notatrollcomment]
One of the main features of Docs is real time collaboration. Have you guys tried collaborating on the new Web apps? Thoughts?

grayscale said,

[notatrollcomment]
One of the main features of Docs is real time collaboration. Have you guys tried collaborating on the new Web apps? Thoughts?

So far, well done, and with the framework behind the new collaboration, Google will have a heck of a time ever catching up.

It is weird for Microsoft to have to 'push' ahead of Google in collaboration, because it is only the 'Web Apps' that are rather new that have lacked GDoc collaboration features.

Outside of the 'Web Apps' companies using NT 4.0 and IIS and Sharepoint were doing online realtime collaboration 10 years before Google bought the GDoc collaboration technology.

I got the beta by opening in Skydrive a file that was created in Office 2013. It asked me if I want to try the new beta version.

Looks good - even works in firefox (suck it up google!). A little slower to load than from my local machine. Far more promising that google docs and google drive!