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Summary:

Right alongside the many Azure and Windows 7 announcements out of PDC, Microsoft is making more of a move to the cloud with their Office suite. Specifically, the company will offer light, web-based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote (shown above). The last app is […]

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Right alongside the many Azure and Windows 7 announcements out of PDC, Microsoft is making more of a move to the cloud with their Office suite. Specifically, the company will offer light, web-based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote (shown above). The last app is worthy of note (no pun intended) as I still believe that OneNote is the best bit of productivity software that comes from Redmond. Some early questions I have: how will a light, online version of OneNote stackup against Evernote and how much functionality will be clipped from the full version?

The online Office suite will be shown off later this year, so we should get a better idea within the next several weeks where this is all heading. I don’t expect this to be completely free like Google Docs and Zoho are: Microsoft says that the web apps will be offered through Office Live, which is both add-supported and subscription based. Hop over to workspace.officelive.com and watch for more information as it becomes available.

With the limited info available currently, my gut says that Microsoft will see a larger demand for these services in the enterprise… a place where it would be financially beneficial to them based on this quote from the release: "For business customers, we will offer Office Web applications as ahosted subscription service and through existing volume licensingagreements." If consumers have to pay, they’ll tend to gravitate where they are now with free substitutes that continue to get better in terms of format support and compatibility. Conspicuously absent in the release is what browsers will be supported, although all of the screen caps show Internet Explorer.

Two quick updates: I just noticed over at ReadWriteWeb that this isn’t a Flash nor a Silverlight-based solution. It’s HTML plus AJAX which is  potentially interesting from a mobile device perspective. Also, RWW says that supported browsers will include not just IE, but also Firefox and Safari.

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  1. There is a demo of Onenote on the web here, the screen resolution is a bit low I find (is there a hi res version?) but they also briefly show Onenote 14!
    http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/PDCNews/First-Look-Office-14-for-Web/

  2. evernote is dead my friends.
    excellent news for onenote.
    can’t wait to use it.

  3. GoodThings2Life Tuesday, October 28, 2008

    I’m sorry, but I just don’t see the enterprise moving to cloud computing anytime soon. IT Administrators like myself are already constantly struggling to keep a tight lock on our company data that there’s no way we’re going to collectively open the doors to cloud computing. Yeah– let’s trust Apple, Microsoft, and Google to host all of our data?! Microsoft with all there security flaws, Google with all their privacy flaws, and Apple with ridiculously hyper-controlled, overpriced solutions. No way. Never going to happen… certainly not at the hyped-up levels that tech pundits keep claiming.

    I’m not anti-web apps, I’m just very cautious on how far I trust it.

  4. Kevin C. Tofel Tuesday, October 28, 2008

    I can understand where you’re coming from, but I’m envisioning the enterprise adopting this to complement their existing Office deployment. Meaning, they can get more potential productivity out of employees by allowing online document editing and creation. Some businesses simply can’t embrace this due to regulatory issues, but small and medium sized businesses just might.

  5. GoodThings2Life Tuesday, October 28, 2008

    OK, after watching the full blown video I’ll offer this– I can see the multi-editor capabilities getting tied into SharePoint portals so that a business and client can collaborate on a document. **THAT** is incredibly useful, regardless of application.

    But I’m sorry… depending on a web connection to edit my documents… that still seems absurd to me, especially in a corporate environment where you’ll already have the client version installed. Nevermind the plethora of security and dependability factors involved here.

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