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Office Web Applications – half measures for now

If you get access to Office via your browser, what’s on offer now? Only half.

by Office Watch

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Microsoft is gradually rolling out browser-based versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote. If you have a Windows Live / Hotmail login you might receive an invitation to join the pre-release trials.

If you accept the invitation, what do you get? At the moment it includes only Excel and Powerpoint – Word and OneNote editing features have yet to appear.

Immediately after accepting the invite you get a message telling you the service is ready and all you have to do is click on ‘New’ to create a document. Nice theory, but there’s no ‘New’ menu item to be seen.

If you return to the main Skydrive window, the changes appear.

Office Web Applications - Skydrive main window image from Office Web Applications – half measures for now at Office-Watch.com

Click on the Documents folder and finally the New menu appears:

Office Web Applications - New document pull-down menu image from Office Web Applications – half measures for now at Office-Watch.com

(click on any of these images to see full size versions)

So you decide to try making a Word document – click on ‘Microsoft Word document’ and you don’t get very far:

Office Web Applications - Word still to come image from Office Web Applications – half measures for now at Office-Watch.com

That's not a very promising start even for a beta/preview/trial/pre-release or whatever Microsoft wants to call it. 

Same problem with OneNote:

Office Web Applications - OneNote still to come image from Office Web Applications – half measures for now at Office-Watch.com

There’s more luck making an Excel document online:

Office Web Applications - Excel main view image from Office Web Applications – half measures for now at Office-Watch.com

(click on any of these images to see full size versions)

And PowerPoint

Office Web Applications - Powerpoint main view image from Office Web Applications – half measures for now at Office-Watch.com

(click on any of these images to see full size versions)

Unlike installed software, web applications can be updated almost any time by the provider.  So we'd expect / hope that Word and Onenote editing appears for preview users very soon. 

Article posted: Thursday, 08 October 2009

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