Microsoft Chasing Google Drive, Adds Real-Time Co-Authoring To Office Web Apps

Microsoft announced that its Office Web Apps, the teaser portion of its Office 365 initiative, are getting some updates in the form of real-time co-authoring, which allows multiple users to collaborate on a single document simultaneously. Users can work from their desktops, laptops, tablets, and other mobile devices whether online or offline. (Even if you’re working offline on a shared document, your changes will sync when you reconnect.)

Further, some of the Office Web Apps received individual updates. The Word app has improved formatting, find and replace, more styles and formatting for tables, and the ability to insert headers and footers. In the Excel app, you can now drag and drop cells, reorder sheets, data range analysis, and more support for workbooks. There’s also new picture cropping functionality as well as the ability to change file names within the app’s editing window.

Microsoft Word Office Web App

Microsoft’s Office Web Apps are among the best consumer- and business-oriented products the company has developed because they’re free and let users create, edit, and view Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote files via a web browser. Updates happen automatically, unseen from users, because everything is wrapped up in the cloud.

Microsoft PowerPoint Office Web App

It’s brilliant, and Google thought of it (and implemented it) first with Google Docs. Despite its desktop dominance, Microsoft has clearly seen the writing on the wall when it comes to cloud-based productivity, and the company is doing good work in that space with this and it’s more tricked-out offerings via Office 365. Market competition is a good thing.