Office Web Applications - half measures for now


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

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.

1318 Office Web Applications Skydrive main window - Office Web Applications - half measures for now

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

1318 Office Web Applications New document pull down menu - Office Web Applications - half measures for now

(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:

1318 Office Web Applications Word still to come - Office Web Applications - half measures for now

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:

1318 Office Web Applications OneNote still to come - Office Web Applications - half measures for now

There’s more luck making an Excel document online:

1318 Office Web Applications Excel main view - Office Web Applications - half measures for now

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

And PowerPoint

1318 Office Web Applications Powerpoint main view - Office Web Applications - half measures for now

(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. 

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