Free Office collaboration now available; Microsoft gives finger to Google #GetItDone

#GetItDone

Weirdest. Branding. Evar.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) announces new features in Office 365 and the free Office Web Apps. Real-time collaboration is the biggie, but there's a grab-bag of other tweaks that seem to set it apart from Google Drive (née Google Docs).

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers blog the blogworthy across the blogosphere.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

There is nothing notable about Juan Carlos Perez' surname: [And don't you forget it -Ed.]

Office Web Apps, the browser-based, pared-down version of the Microsoft suite, now lets people co-edit documents in real time. ... With the new live co-authoring feature, colleagues will see each other's modifications as they're made. Microsoft...has also added auto-save to the suite's Word application.

...

Office Web Apps is available as a standalone, free suite, and is also included with Office 365 [which also] includes online versions of Exchange, SharePoint and Lync. ... Office Web Apps has given Microsoft an answer to Google Docs with an offering for users looking for browser-based, lightweight productivity apps. ... It works and renders particularly well in the iPad's Safari browser.  MORE

Peter Bright sparks interest:

When Microsoft first created its Office Web Apps, they were designed primarily...for reading and performing light editing. ... That goal is now evolving.

...

In Word and Excel, the co-editing is fine-grained, with per-character and per-cell granularity. PowerPoint [has] per-slide granularity. ... Word has search-and-replace, support for headers and footers, and rich formatting of tables. The Excel Web App is adding the status bar quick analysis...feature found in the desktop app, and is now compatible with protected sheets. ... PowerPoint can now crop images.

...

Microsoft intends to add...editing on Android.  MORE

By showing us this "unlisted" demo video, Carly Page turns heads:

Real-time editing [is] a feature that Google Docs users have had for years.  MORE

Noting an oft-overlooked detail, Frederic Lardinois gets crispy:

Subscribers to Home Premium always got a couple of bonuses...including 20GB of extra storage on SkyDrive and 60 minutes of free calling anywhere in the world on Skype.

...

[But] those benefits only applied to the users who paid for the subscription. [Now] everybody who uses the license will get [the] benefits.  MORE

Confused? Here's how Firefly7475 reads it:

Before this even though the 5 installs could technically be shared with other people, the main account holder was the only one that could run the install.

This sounds like you link up to 4 other accounts with yours and any of them can get access to any of the 5 available installs, plus they get 20GB of extra SkyDrive storage each.

It will be interesting to see if those 5 other people also get access to the click-to-run functionality and Office on mobile devices.  MORE

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