Coming Soon To Microsoft’s Office Web Apps: Real-Time Co-Authoring, Editing On Android Tablets, Easier File Management

Posted: May 8, 2013 in Technology
Tags: , ,

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Microsoft’s Office Web Apps have been around since
2010. Since then, they have slowly morphed from
lightweight document viewers to relatively full-blown
Office apps. Going forward, Microsoft senior product
marketing manager Amanda Lefebvre wrote in a blog
post last night, the plan is “to deliver Office Web Apps that people can rely on to create polished Office
documents from start to finish, all from the Web.” To
do this, Microsoft is going to focus on three key
areas: user experience, social and collaboration, as
well as better cross-platform support. In concrete terms, Lefebvre writes, this means the
Office Web Apps will soon get better collaboration
tools. Currently, the Web Apps allow users to co-
author documents, but Microsoft’s doesn’t allow for
Google Wave-like real-time co-authoring just yet.
That, however, is in the pipeline. Microsoft, she writes, will “introduce real time co-authoring in the
Office Web Apps so that all file authors will
automatically see presence and edits from others as
they happen without needing to refresh.” This feature
is already available in the PowerPoint Web App today
and will surely roll out to the other apps in the near future. Also in the queue for the near future is the ability to
edit documents via mobile Chrome on Android.
Windows 8 tablet and iPad users can already do this,
but as Microsoft has focused on Windows and iOS,
Android users have often been left behind. Microsoft
says it wants to “enable you to access Office content and tools from your device of choice through cross
browser support on those devices where Office isn’t
installed or available.” Other new features and enhancements in the
Microsoft pipeline are support for easier file
management from the apps, faster launch times, and
support for “find and replace” in the Word app.

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