by August 1, 2010 0 comments



Software as a Service or SaaS as it is commonly known has been a buzzword for
quite a while now. Let’s, however put this into a real-world situation and see
whether the SaaS model actually is enough for working. Let us take, for example
, different executives who travel on a regular basis and work on documents,
spreadsheets and presentations all the time — not just from office or home, but
also in the car, flight, airport and other places. They also need maximum
flexibility in working with these files — in formatting, layout, printing,
emailing and even viewing.

The SaaS model gives the solution of storing everything up in the cloud
always. However, looking at the situation above, it is easy to realize that an
offline model is as important too. This is where the Office Web Apps come in.
The Office Web Apps are an offering from Microsoft that lets you work with the
different Office document formats online in the cloud. You have create, view and
edit ability for all the major formats — Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.
Not only that, it assures 100% fidelity of document formatting when working in
the online model and a 2-way synchronization of changes from online to offline
or vice-versa.

Direct Hit!

Applies To: Office users
Price: Free
USP: Learn about the features of MS Office Web apps
Primary Link:

http://workspace.office.live.com/

Search Engine Keywords: office web apps, sharepoint, ms office
2010

MS Office 2010 already has the ability built in where you can simply save the
file to the free SkyDrive service. This allows the document to be available in
both modes and anytime you are away from your computer and still want access to
the file, simply fire up a browser and head over to SkyDrive where not only can
you download the file to the machine if you want, but also view, edit and save
it without any loss in formatting or features.

Save to Cloud directly from within Office 2010.

 

An Excel file open in Office Web App within SkyDrive. Note
the ribbon and the Pivot Table rendering.
A high fidelity view of a Word file with images and other
formatting.

Microsoft also allows corporates to host their private documents within
SharePoint 2010 and enable the Office Web Apps feature within this. Employees of
an organization can then access the company SharePoint portal to pick up any
document, make changes online, collaborate with any of their colleagues and save
the document back with no loss of fidelity. They can of course at anytime pick
up the document and for more advanced features use the offline Office
applications to edit them and upload them back.

A presentation with note, animation and graphics.

 

Adding styles to an image in the Office Web Apps.

The best part about the Office Live Web Apps is that they’re free for anyone
to use – as long as they have a Windows Live account and sign up to SkyDrive.
With the new release of Windows Live apps (Wave 4 — currently in public beta)
you also get a new Windows Live Sync tool. This tool allows you to designate
folders on your machine that you would like to sync up to and from SkyDrive
automatically. Once done, you simply save the file locally into your hard disk
and the tool syncs it to the cloud. You can access this file when you are away
from your computer, make changes directly to it online and when your computer is
back up, it will sync up those changes from the cloud back to your machine. This
is a feature that becomes extremely useful as you start using it since you can
now access all your files from anywhere and make changes without worrying up the
copy you have going out of sync. You also get the full advantage of high
fidelity views and edits when online and the full power of the Office suite when
in offline mode.

Same Excel worksheet open in Google Docs. No Pivot Table
support or formatting.
Same Excel worksheet open in Google Docs. No Pivot Table
support or formatting.

 

All formatting lost over at Google Docs.

The Office Live Web Apps is available now for free for end-users and as part
of SharePoint 2010 for companies. This makes S+S a potential combination for
enterprises and users alike. Check out the screenshots to know more.

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