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Today we're featuring guest blogger Evan Lew, product manager for Office Web Apps.
New! See the end of this post for new information about Office Web Apps.
David Pogue of the New York Times wrote a great article on Thursday about his discovery of Windows Live SkyDrive, "a free, 25-gigabyte virtual hard drive on the Internet, accessible from any computer." It's perfect for accessing your files from another computer or sharing work with others. "The key point is that you can pull the SkyDrive onto any computer's screen--Mac, Windows, whatever--at your office, at your home, at your friend's house, so you don't need to carry around a physical disk to transport files."
I'm excited that David and many others are learning how useful SkyDrive is because it's about to get better. With the new, free Office Web Apps, you'll be able to view and make quick edits to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote documents that you store on SkyDrive right from your web browser. This means you can get things done from virtually anywhere. All you need is a computer with a web browser (IE, Firefox or Safari) and an internet connection.
Sharing files with others is easier too. You can confidently share a document on SkyDrive with someone else, knowing that they can view and make light edits to the document whether they're on a PC or Mac, regardless of what version of Office they use. Office Web Apps provide a high fidelity view of the document so, from images and footnotes to table borders and text effects, your content looks its best. And because Office Web Apps feature the familiar Microsoft Office interface, there's no need to learn a new program.
You can try Office Web Apps on SkyDrive for free by joining the Technical Preview*. (Many of the features listed above are available right now, while other features like Word Web App edit and OneNote Web App are coming soon). Over the past few months, I've found the Technical Preview invaluable for a variety of personal projects. My wife and I track our new year's resolutions in an Excel spreadsheet on SkyDrive so we can access it from either of our two computers at home or even from my laptop at work. And because the spreadsheet is shared, my wife can track progress on my promise to be home for dinner with the kids 4 out of 5 weeknights (so far so good) or my commitment to exercise three times a week (unfortunately, even the spreadsheet has had no impact on my slothfulness!).
I've also posted my church small group's weekly schedule in a spreadsheet on SkyDrive, so everyone can see what's happening, when, where, and who's bringing drinks, snacks, and dessert. It's a great way to keep everyone on the same page. Everyone has access to the latest schedule and we don't need to constantly send out email updates with different versions of the spreadsheet. No one has an excuse now to forget to bring dessert!
The new Microsoft Office 2010 also works well with SkyDrive. From Office 2010, you can save a document directly to SkyDrive. No need to save the file to your computer, launch your web browser, navigate to the right URL, and then upload the file. Just do it from Office.
The Office 2010 beta is available for free download today. Personally, the save to SkyDrive feature in Office 2010 has been a great timesaver. I've used it to post to SkyDrive everything from instructions for our babysitters (shared with my wife so she can make updates too) to a PowerPoint photo slideshow from a recent vacation for friends and family to enjoy.
I hope you also find these tools help make your SkyDrive experience even more productive!
-- Evan Lew, Product Manger, Office Web Apps
Want more info?
My apologies to any previous commenters, I removed them by mistake, please feel free to repost your comments. Thanks!
I just poked around the new LIVE product, looks good..
I'm excited to start using this!
I use SkyDrive for my coursework (I teach). I liked the Office Web Apps integration into SkyDrive. I wish though that I could upload folders to SkyDrive...
WOW ... I got about a million records and this is so seamless between transitions ... Great looks and ease of use. =)
I am in Canada and this feature does not appear to be available.
Tom: Web Apps is in Tech Preview now, the the experience varies. Once Web Apps releases, US and Canadian versions will be released at the same time. --Doug T,
here's a bit more detailed info on Windows Skydrive - www.tubehome.com/.../skydrive-windows-7 . This will be a good addition ro your post! Thanks