Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Microsoft Office and Office Web Apps 2010 released

Today Microsoft released Office 2010 and as we speak I'm in the process of downloading it. I'll install Office, Visio and Project 2010 later this week as I upgrade from 2007. I don't expect there will be much of a difference from 2007 except for a few design changes.

The real exciting change to Office 2010 is the release of Office Web Apps 2010 which is Microsoft's answer to Google Docs. To launch Office Web Apps, log into SkyDrive or Window's Live, click the Office link at the top and from there you can launch Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote in a "lite" version.

Now I can't say that I'm a big fan of SkyDrive's or Window's Live's layout but the Web Apps work pretty well and they allow you to launch the standalone versions by clicking a single button. For those of us that started using Office Live Workspaces Add-In, it seems as though Microsoft will be shutting down the Office Live Workspaces system and moving over the documents to SkyDrive, automatically. Here's the announcement screen:

It's good to see Microsoft is getting rid of the Office Live Workspaces Add-In in favor of SkyDrive and the Web Apps. The Add-In caused a lot of problems with Office 2007 and was pretty slow. Whether or not the new Office Web Apps catches on will remain to be seen. I've been using Dropbox to store and share most of my documents these days because it's so quick. It may take some time to get comfortable with SkyDrive and Office Web Apps and if it doesn't offer the collaboration options that Google Docs does, why bother?.

Looks like businesses that have SharePoint Server 2010 deployed can have a private deployment of Microsoft Office Web Apps 2010 by downloading a 200MB add-in. Sounds pretty cool to me. For more information go here.

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