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Office Web Applications First Look

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With the launch of the Office Web application Technical Preview, Chris Bryant (Director for Office) gives us a first look at the details of the new free Office web applications and tells us the angle as compared to other similar applications like Google Docs.  We get to see a demo of the Excel Web App, Powerpoint Web App, Word Web App, and the sharing capabilities. After the demo, Developers get some insight into what you can do with the Office Web apps.

To sign up for the beta version of Office Web Apps, visit http://www.microsoft.com/Office2010

Learn more about Office Web Apps by visiting their Blog:
http://blogs.msdn.com/officewebapps

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  • Ian WalkerIan2 In geeks we trust ...

    Cool, but whats going on in the cloud right now highlights the need for decent connection speeds - we need to speed up the infrastructure,   I want my internet supply to be like my electricity, gas and water supplies - plentiful and cheap!

  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change

    Network latency is a physics problem that's rather hard to solve... This is the fundamental problem with the whole Thin Client mentality. Moving everything to the cloud is just not practical. See, there is no cloud when the router fails, when the server goes down, when undersea construction in the Pacific ocean severs a main Internet artery....

     

    Also, we haven't solved the general data synchronization problem; not by a long shot.

     

    Just saying...

     

    C

     

    EDIT: Office Web Apps are really coming along! Thanks for posting this, David.

  • This is really cool, thanks for the video.  I have 2 questions to ask,

     

    1.  Where do I sign up for the Technical Preview?  I already have a SkyDrive account but can't seem to find any links to it.

    2.  Are any of the Office Apps (specifically Word and Excel) are available as components that can be placed on a web page?  I ask this specifically to find out if we can integrate Office Web apps into our corporate web applications.

     

    Cheers!

  • Tomasz Wisniewskiwisnia Tomasz Wisniewski

    Unfortunately I didn’t get an invite yet Sad

    But after watching the video two things come to my mind:

     

    1. It would be really cool if the apps where also integrated into Live Mesh. For example you have two computers which synchronize a folder between each other and also with Live Desktop. Then you could go to the Live Desktop, make some changes and all the computers synchronized with that folder would get the new versions of the document.

     

    2. When using the search feature online, like with the price example. When you click on an element in the left pane, the occurrence of it in the document should be centered in the browser window and not be on the bottom, it makes your eyes travel to much.

     

    Well… waiting for my invite now Big Smile

  • 1) IDEA is grate but

        Word Preview Very Slow Performace

        Can't View at all some documents, I get error message and offers me to open in desktop applicatio

    Please give more attantion for deveopers, allow us to emebed document viewers/Editors in our application.  without sharepoint.

     

     

     

  • ivan_ivan_ g

    It is nice, but I didn't see invitation in my sky drive account. Sad

     

    And also it seems that it would be a better experience if web apps would be parts of Live Mesh Web Desktop.

  • ivan_ivan_ g

    Irakli_Lomidze, you right it would be nice to have it like a service, where if somebody is browsing docs on my web site, then I could show a preview for example using Office Web Apps as a service.

     

  • kipkip

    On getting in to the preview: remember that you need a skydrive folder populated with at least one Office document or you won't see anything.  Once you have a folder with a document in it, open the folder and you should see a banner inviting you in (that is, if you are in the Tech Preview and/or have been invited into Office Web Apps).

  • William Staceystaceyw Before C# there was darkness...

    This is timely.  I have spent last week doing a team site in Google Sites and Google Docs.  I really did not think I could take it as far as I did. Guess I underestimated google.  First time user and I must say, they did a pretty good job so far.  On the plus side, the integration, ease of use, price, and gadgets (some just don't work) are really nice.  As you say, on the downside is the format loss going from Word to a g-doc and visa-versa. Few other bugs and basic needs like sharing a G-Docs folder in a Site is not possible yet so you have to add manual links to your docs in a page (pain).  And the editors are so-so, but functional.  All and all, you can craft together a site very quickly with most of the functionality you need if you get creative.  So I would say the editors are very important, but only *half the story.  The other half is the colab and live sharing of documents and a UX to surface those documents via something like Google Sites.  I understand Sharepoint is ms's answer, but where is the online story like google?

     

    I think ms has an opportunity here they are not using.  For example, take a google chart gadget.  The data queries exposed to dev should be linq queries.  The source could then be any data source (rest, xml, csv, static) and the projection is what the chart requires.  Being able to code a gadget in c# would be too cool so I guess we are talking SL gadgets.  Other gadgets could work the same way.  Also, would there be a way to share via email address only?  Not require a Live id or other?  Inviting people to a site is a pain even for something as simple as telling them to get a gmail id or live id - if they don't already have one.

  • BassBass Knows the way the wind is flowing.

    Underestimating Google seems to be a very common problem. Big Smile

     

  • These look great, good work!

     

    Couple of points:

     

    - I think it is just the right move to merge Office Live Workspace and Skydrive, never made much sense to have to different places. At the same time, I fear that some cool features of OLW will be lost in the transition, at least they aren't present in the current preview bits. Namley, a) versioning and b) pdf preview. On a), OLW always kept different versions saved, so you could go back to old versions of a document. That was quite handy, so I hope something similiar will be added to Skydrive at some point. On b), OLW had a web preview of pdf files in the Workspace. The quality was actually quite poor, but this was still a VERY usefull feature, because one could essentially surf around and have a quick look at all files in the workspace.

     

    - Rich client access. Right now this works via some WebDAV like thing. Little side tip for those in the CTP: click the link in the web app to open one of the files in the desktop version, then pick "save as" and copy the URL from there. Just use the part that refers to the folder path. Then you can add a new network location (in explorer at the computer level, parallel to your drives) to this URL. And bang, you have explorer access to your Skydrive folder. You can drag and drop files to Skydrive now REALLY easily and quickly. The real question is whether this is going to be the main access route for rich clients, or whether we will see some sync solution, hopefully based on Mesh technology to Skydrive. If that is the case, I'm wondering whether this will be "super smart": lets say I have a Skydrive folder synched to my local disc. I then open the file from local disc with Word. Will Word then recognise that this is a Skydrive/Mesh folder, and if I'm online will go into multiple author mode so that multiple authors can simultanisouly work on the document?

  • One issue that I've not seen discussed is how Office Web apps will interact with other hosted applications.  The scenario in question is where a user has multiple hosted applications from different vendors.  For example, Hosted Exchange via OWA, Hosted QuickBooks, and Office Web.  If the user opens a Word attachment in OWA, OWA will download the file to Windows.  When Windows recognizes a Word file, will HOSTED Word automatically launch and open the file? Similarly, if I open an Excel file from QuickBooks, will Hosted Excel launch and display the file automatically?  This is the experience end users expect with Office installed locally.  Google does not support seamless integration of hosted apps.  One must do the upload/download hokey pokey to get the files from OWA to Google Docs.  Will Microsoft get Hosted Application file interaction correct?

  • Fauquembergue LaurentLaurent.Fauq Laurent.Fauq

    It's pretty cool. Very nice.

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