We've already heard a lot about Office Web Apps, but this week Microsoft has finally rolled them out to the mass market...
In its latest attempt to stunt the growing popularity of Google Docs, Microsoft has made access to final versions of PowerPoint, Word and Excel Office Web Apps completely free to all users with a Live account and its SkyDrive online storage service.
"Over the last few months, we've gotten incredible feedback from the hundreds of thousands of users in our Office Web Apps Technical Preview," said SkyDrive lead programme manager Jason Moore. "We've been busy incorporating much of that feedback, and today, Office Web Apps are now available to everyone in the US, UK, Canada, and Ireland. We'll have more to share next week when Office 2010 is released to consumers, including how Office 2010 + SkyDrive + Office Web Apps give you the best productivity experience across the PC, phone, and browser."
We don't really need to wait. We already know Office Web Apps and Office 2010 can seamlessly shift documents between one another while the former also supports document transfers through drag and drop. Office Web Apps will also soon be integrated into Microsoft's much hyped Hotmail revamp, though we lack a precise date as to when
All in all this is an extremely welcome, but long overdue move. After all we first got wind of Office Web Apps back in 2008 and it has had online design tools via Office Live for over a year. Furthermore, coming as it does just one week before the full consumer launch of Office 2010 we can't but wonder if the majority of us really need to bother with the pricey boxed version anymore... especially with Docs.com
Source: Windows Team Blog