Monday, September 21, 2009

Office Web Apps Live Now! – Invitation-only participants

Microsoft rolls out the Microsoft Office Web Apps Technical Preview program for a limited number of invitation-only participants, who’ll receive access to Word Web App, Excel Web App and PowerPoint Web App through Windows Live SkyDrive.

The OneNote Web App and additional Office Web App features, including further integration with Microsoft Office 2010, will be available at a later date. In Technical Preview, people’ll have the online ability to view, edit and create Excel spreadsheets, view and edit PowerPoint presentations, and view and share Word documents with others. For the record, the official name of the programs will indeed be Office Web Apps, Schultz confirmed.

A survey conducted by Microsoft previously had hinted at the possibility of more fanciful names, such as Ensemble, Optro or ArcLight. When they're released in final form, Office Web Apps’ll be available to consumers through Windows Live at no cost, supported by ads. In addition, Microsoft still plans to offer Office Web Apps to businesses as pure "cloud" services, from its own data centers, through its subscription-based Microsoft Online services. Alternatively, companies’ll have the option of running the apps from their own servers.