Office 2010 Web Apps Go Live

After allowing hundreds of thousands of beta testers to take the Technical Preview development product out for a spin, Microsoft has finally entered into the browser-based productivity race, making the long-awaited Office Web apps live on SkyDrive and available for users residing in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Ireland. And the coolest thing about this office suite in the cloud is that it’s all free.

Currently the feature is accessible for all users in the US on, where you can view, edit, and share Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote documents from your browser.

Although the Office Web Apps is configured for most of the available Web browsers, Googles Chrome appears to be missing from the list (might be because Google has their own Google Docs web solution). Better still, Office Web Apps is available and designed for Windows PCs, Macs, and Linux-based machines.

Needless to say, Microsoft is introducing a very important side of Office 2010 to the world, and we’re bound to uncover even more this coming week, when this Office 2007 successor reaches the general availability milestone on June 15th 2010.

According to Microsoft, If you live in the US, UK, Canada, or Ireland, you can head on over to today to start viewing and editing Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote documents right from your web browser — and share them with your friends. All that’s required to access Office Web Apps is a Windows Live ID. If you still don’t have a Windows Live ID, see my link at the end of this article.

It’s also important to note that people you share documents with will need to visit the link above before they can access the documents you share with them. All these shared documents are delivered via SkyDrive, with each user assigned 5GB of storage space for files.

The latest attributes include the capability to upload documents. If you have Microsoft’s Silverlight application installed, you can even do batch uploading. Recently edited documents, meanwhile, will pop up in a “recent documents” section so they can be easily accessed. Office Web Apps enables you to both view and create files. You can upload and edit a file created offline, or can create a brand new file. Co-authoring Excel or OneNote documents is now made easier, with multiple people able to work on a document at the same time.

Watch for more information this week as Office 2010 is officially released to consumers, including how Office 2010+SkyDrive+Office Web Apps is ready to give you the best productivity experience across the PC, phone, and browser.

There are currently 2 “versions” of the Web Apps available – Office Web Apps for home and school and Office Web Apps for Organizations. Users who are content with using Google Docs and the other browser-based office application suites will most likely not be affected by Microsoft’s most recent effort – our son Matt is planning to stay with Google Docs and won’t even consider Office. But perhaps for everyone else, it’s a good addition to the line-up and moreover, it’s free, so there’s really no need to complain if you don’t like the product.

Images of the Office Live Workspace

See how Office 2010 Web Apps work

Don’t have a Windows Live ID yet – click here – it’s FREE

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