Direct response to Google Apps, Microsoft is rolling out lightweight, FREE, Web browser versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. All based in the cloud, the web-based versions of these products have fewer features than their desktop cousins but still give users basic tools to edit and change documents.
The Redmond corporation has already released its Live cloud services that allow for online document collaboration.
Microsoft has announced at its Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans about the new version of Microsoft Office 2010 revealing some of the features that they are planning to implement in the new installment.
Users now would have the capability of editing video and images within PowerPoint with a basic video editing tool and an image editing tool, which is like a basic, simple version of Adobe Photoshop.
Excel spreadsheets would be able to run in the browser, and similar to PowerPoint, spreadsheets would be able to be published to the browser via the desktop version. The browser version of Excel would have limited features, but offers more in-depth functionality than Google Spreadsheets, according to Tech Crunch.
In the browser, documents retain the same look and feel as in the
desktop. The browser version still has the “ribbon user interface,”
where you one would be able to change fonts, size, formatting, styles etc.
Microsoft would update the desktop version of Word 2010 to have collaborative
features so that multiple users would be able to edit a document at once. This
collaboration is not available in the web version, unfortunately.
Microsoft says that users don’t want this feature but this might be a
move to protect the Office revenue model.