Just today, Microsoft has announced the start of Microsoft Office Web Apps Technical Preview program for consumers. Microsoft is finally preparing for the beta launch of its Web Office suite which has been formally named as “Office Web Apps”. The Office Web Apps include Word Web App, Excel Web App, PowerPoint Web App and OneNote Web App.
Initially, access to the Microsoft Office Web Apps will limited only to the beta testers. According to Microsoft official announcement, limited number of invitation-only participants will receive access to Word, Excel and PowerPoint on the web through Windows Live.
The light weight Office Web Apps will empower user to virtually access office documents from anywhere if they have an internet connection. It’s yet to see how Microsoft Web Office Apps will compete with the already present online office solutions, and the best competitor is none other than Google Web Apps.
This technical preview will give customer feedback prior to the official launch of the service. “After this Technical Preview milestone, which is focused on consumers, we’ll continue to update the Office Web Apps, leading up to the broadly available beta and the official launch next year, and frequently update the service based on new user feedback after that.” says Michael Schultz, director of marketing for Microsoft Office Services at Microsoft.
The beta testers will view, edit and create Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentation and Word documents, moreover they will be able to share them with others. Microsoft believes that its Web Office will be unique in the sense that half a billion people use Microsoft Office and the Web Office Apps will be no different than the desktop Office. Additionally, the office will be available on PCs and Macs and on all popular browsers as well as on mobile phones. This gives consumers the flexibility to work on the go.
Microsoft also declares its future plans regarding Web Office. Office Apps will be officially available in the first half of 2010. First Windows Live customers will get access to Office Web Apps on Windows LiveSkyDrive . Second, it will be available to Office 2010 volume licensing business customers and then finally businesses will get access to Office Web Apps through Microsoft Online Services.
It is certainly a great news for Microsoft Office enthusiasts, and they will certainly be looking forward to a great online office experience.