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Editor’s note: On Monday, we unveiled the new Office. On Tuesday, we shared more details on Office and the Cloud and how we give you the flexibility of the browser with the power and responsiveness of rich clients. Today we dig deeper into the capabilities and technology behind the new Office Web Apps, which are available on SkyDrive and Office 365 Preview. The Office Web Apps extend your Office experience to the web allowing you to access, edit, and share your Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote documents in a web browser. Mike Morton, Group Program Manager for Office Web Applications joins the blog to explain.
I’m excited to talk about updates to the Office Web Apps, which are now available live on SkyDrive and the Office 365 Preview. You can try out the new Office Web Apps on SkyDrive by signing in using this special link or you can participate in the Office 365 Preview. Either way, you will get the same new Office Web Apps when you create or click on a Word, Excel, PowerPoint or OneNote document.
In this post I'll talk about some of the new functionality in the Office Web Apps as well as discuss how they have evolved over time.
As we have developed the Office Web Apps we have done so with the following principles:
We were very excited when we had the first release of the Office Web Apps in June 2010. Since then we have continually added capabilities based on customer feedback. During that time we have grown our usage to approximately 50 million people a month. We are very pleased with its success! Over the past two years, we have also received feedback on how the Office Web Apps could be better. We've worked hard to incorporate this feedback while building upon our principles. This update is by far the most significant we have ever done and we hope others are as excited about the changes as we are!
For this release we've focused on these four scenarios:
We made significant investments to improve the editing and formatting experiences. You can now create, edit, and finish more professional looking documents within the Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote Web App. Of course we've also maintained full compatibility with the Office file formats, so you can transition back and forth between Office on the desktop, the web browser, and mobile devices.
With the initial release of the Office Web Apps it was easy to create basic documents or make quick edits to more complex documents. However it wasn't always easy or possible to achieve the final formatting, layout, or presentation that many users have to come to expect from Office documents. With this latest update of the Office Web Apps, it is now possible to create great looking Word documents, sophisticated spreadsheets, and dynamic presentations. Some of the highlights include:
(Pictured above -- new layout view in the Word editor)
(Pictured above -- adding a transition in the PowerPoint Web App)
We've also heard from customers what authoring features they would like added to the Web Apps. When considering which functionality to add next, we've considered a variety of factors:
Below are some examples of features we've added based on customer feedback.
Note that this in addition to many new features we have been adding over the last couple of years. If you haven't checked out the Office Web Apps lately, you'll notice they already have new capabilities such as printing, charts, multiple worksheet support, ink display, and much more.
A major value proposition of the Office Web Apps is that they let you access your Office documents from nearly anywhere, on nearly any device.
The Office Web Apps have embraced HTML5. They run in virtually all modern browsers and do not require the user of plug-ins (e.g. ActiveX, Flash, Silverlight). This includes Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. We've also optimized the Web Apps to run on a variety of new form factors including tablets and smartphones.
The user interface of the Office Web Apps has been updated to work great on touch devices. Examples of changes include updating button spacing to be more finger-friendly, all-new touch selection capabilities, new UI controls for inserting tables or picking colors, dragging shapes with your fingers in PowerPoint, and support for gestures such as pinching and swiping. Look for a future post on the Office Web App's blog that will provide much more depth in this area. Below is an example:
(Pictured above -- User Experience with touch)
(Pictured above -- User experience with a mouse)
The initial version of the Office Web Apps allows users to view an Office document on nearly any phone with a browser. However the experience was very basic. With this latest release, we now provide a high-quality reading experience that take advantage of today's modern smartphones, including Android and iOS.
(Pictured above -- An excel spreadsheet on a mobile device)
In this section, we’ll discuss a few examples of new collaboration capabilities in the Office Web Apps. Each of these features is designed to help you share and collect information with others.
One of the greatest benefits of putting documents on the Web is that it makes it easier to share and collaborate. With the initial release of the Office Web Apps, we supported co-authoring with Excel and OneNote. We subsequently added co-authoring support to Word. With this update, we've added co-authoring support in PowerPoint as well. We are excited for the first time that all the Office Web Apps support simultaneous, multi-user, collaborative authoring!
While co-authoring is great, we've found many people want to give feedback to others on a document without directly 'editing' the document. It is now possible to do this via comments in documents and presentations. The comments allow for replies, are designed to be viewable in the document with less distraction, and have the ability to be 'marked done' once incorporated in the document.
(Pictured above -- A document with inline comments)
Ever wanted to collect data from a group of people directly into a spreadsheet? Now you can, easily, without them having to worry about where to enter the data because they are presented with a clean, simple, survey.
(Pictured above -- A survey created with Excel)
We're always looking for ways to squeeze more performance out of the browser and bring people the most efficient experience possible. Improvements have been made in all of the apps and in many places. Here are few examples: .
I hope this blog encourages you to go to skydrive.com and try this new release. If you do, we want to hear from you! Many of the new features we've added have been in direct response to the feedback you've given us. As you use the Office Web Apps Preview, please click on the smiley face on the upper right to tell us what you like, what you don't like, and what you would like to see next.
Be sure to stay tuned to the Office Web Apps blog for more on this release in the coming weeks.
Mike Morton Group Program Manager of the Office Web Applications
Mit den neuen Office WebApps hat Microsoft auch die Co-Authoring Funktion weiter verbessert. Zitat: One
I have a question about CO-authoring:
I perceived it as it provided an opportunity to edit a document together with live updates on what others type. this is true? Because it did not work for me when I tried it, it was not until after you had saved the document and reloaded the website that you could see what the other had written.
If that is the case that the office web apps do not support this feature, it would be great if you add it.
ps. I am sorry if my English is bad, it is not my native language ;)
@Jamie, @Ricardo - We've heard requests for these before, and they are on our list of future improvements.
Omar Shahine Gerente del Grupo de Programa de SkyDrive.com El pasado noviembre, compartimos algunos pensamientos
When you print from the cloud dose the computer that the printer is connected to have to be listed out there also?
this great's better for us !
Seamlessly integrates into my web browser. Keep it coming MS!!
Businesses use technology to improve productivity. They need it to speed up business innovation, and help with the basic needs to save money and get more done. Internet-based subscriptions make cloud computing a cheaper way for businesses to get computer
This is a great post, and I've been digging the preview.
I'm wondering - is there a record of the version changes for the Office 365 Web Apps? For instance, when we talk about the current Office 365 Web App, I consider it the Office 365 Web Apps that go with Office 2010. I'm wondering if there is a more technical name, and if the changes are made public somewhere.
Editor’s note: Tara Roth is the Corporate Vice President for Office Test. She joins Office Next
It would be really helpful if Excel Web could support multiple editors better, by maintaining a separate view/filter state for each user. Edits could still be propagated to each editing user, but trying to edit a 100+row sheet with three people all wanting a different sort/filter order is frustrating in the extreme.
Hi everyone! By now folks have also been able to see that we’ve changed the default save location in Office to SkyDrive. We're excited to talk about the change, and why it offers the best experience for storing, sharing and collaborating Office
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This is the first post in a weekly series from the Office Web Apps engineering team diving deeper into
Por Gray Knowlton Nota: En una de nuestras primeras publicaciones hablamos sobre nuestros esfuerzos por