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On my last vacation I went back home to visit family. As anyone who works in technology can appreciate, I quickly became the designated tech support person. So I spent part of my vacation patching, installing software and fixing computers, while learning how each of my family’s computer setups differ.
My mom runs Vista with IE 7, my brothers both use Macs and Safari (and wisely didn’t let me touch them), my dad runs Windows XP, and my in-laws run Vista with Firefox. This experience made me appreciate on a personal level how valuable it is to be able to work anywhere, regardless of the machine setup.
As we were building the Office Web Apps we set out to provide an Office quality experience regardless of which platform and which browser you use. We know that our customers will have diverse configurations, and in some cases (such as working from a library or airport kiosk) there isn’t an option to install a different browser.
The Office Web Apps work with some of the most widely used browsers, and we officially support:
If you prefer to use another browser you should still give the Web Apps a try. While we cannot officially support all browsers, customers will not be blocked from using them. It is a goal of the Web Apps to have broad compatibility and reach.
While we strive to make the experience consistent across each browser we support, sometimes this isn’t possible. A browser may not offer the same level of extensibility for certain scenarios. One example of this is copying text by pressing the ‘copy’ button on the ribbon. In Internet Explorer this will work (after a prompt), but Firefox doesn’t support copying to the clipboard through mouse actions, so you’ll see a dialog from the Office Web Apps similar to the one below.
Microsoft just released Silverlight 3, a free browser plugin that allows developers to build richer web experiences for many browsers and platforms. The Office Web Apps will work well without any plugins installed, but they get even better if you have Silverlight.
You may notice that when you view a Word document or PowerPoint presentation you’re prompted to install Silverlight. That’s because the Word and PowerPoint viewing experiences benefit from Silverlight.
There are some automatic benefits to having Silverlight installed when running the PowerPoint Web App. For example, animations smooth out a bit, and the slide will scale with the browser window size. However Silverlight is not required for rendering or animation.
If you’d like to get the benefits mentioned above when using the Office Web Apps, install Silverlight. If you’d prefer not to install Silverlight the Office Web Apps will still work well in the browser you choose to use - allowing you to work anywhere, no matter what machine setup you happen to find.
Gareth Howell Program Manager, Office Web Apps
Chrome runs Silverlight 3 perfectly. Why isn't it supported?
I can TOTALLY understand you not supporting IE6, the sooner it is gone the better, but not Opera or Chrome? Madness!
Its a shame because I don't like Google Docs, and was hoping MS's attempt I would like. *SIGH*
"The Office Web Apps Love Your Browser" - what a crock. As we used to say in politics, "you get the difficult part out of the way in the title."
The Office Web Apps do not love MY browser. You really ought to call this "The Office Web Apps Love IE and We've Been Forced to Include Firefox Support Because There'd be a Huge Backlash if we Didn't."
Silverlight sucks. I guess Flash was beginning to annoy Microsoft, so they made their own version. We don't need it and we don't want it. How many sites use it?
With the Silverlight requirement, this is now a nonstarter. Google Docs doesn't require you to install plugins and it just WORKS.
It's should be clear enough which company is web apps savvy and does web apps well aka Google and which company is flailing around trying to survive in a open web world. I let you figure out which company is that.
@Open Web, I just want to make sure you understand that Office Web Apps do not require Silverlight. Silverlight is supported and some features are enhanced when it is installed.
You should rename the title of this post to
THE OFFICE WEB APPS LOVE SILVERLIGHT
It's clear enough this is just an attempt to increase the Silverlight installed base.
Does it work with Firefox 3.6? If not then it's typical MS.
Wi shutt out Opera and Chrome ? Thay are very popular i whould rather se that Safari got shutt out for the support of office 2010,
becous as i said Opera and Chrome is more used than Safari.
Your blog doesn't reflect reality. If I go to:
I also get redirected to:
on Firefox 3.5.2 under GNU/Linux -- which also isn't listed on that page.
Just to be clear, nothing you see on workspace.office.live.com should be interpreted as proof of anything. The Office Web Apps have not been made available yet. When they are, the information above will be accurate.
I am very surprised you have omitted Chrome and other browsers. I very much hope you add support for them shortly. I really want to use Office Web Apps, but I much much much prefer Chrome as a browser. To me as a user you would make me much happier by supporting Chrome than forcing me to open up another browser to access Office Web Apps.
Jeff, that's a good idea for a future post, we'll see if we can provide more details on how the rendering works in an upcoming post.
I'll reiterate Sean's comment - workspace.office.live.com doesn't reflect what the Office Web Apps will be delivering, as they haven't been made available yet.
Thanks for all your comments about supporting Chrome and Opera. I know how frustrating it can be when a site doesn't support your browser. As mentioned, these browsers won't be blocked when the office web apps are made available.
Our goal is to provide the broadest reach to the Web Apps. For the first release we were only able to officially support the browsers mentioned above. Officially supporting other browsers requires an additional level of testing and validation. As we release future versions of the Office Web Apps we'll look closely at expanding that support.
We took this approach when using Silverlight as well. Silverlight will improve the Office Web Apps on all the supported browsers, not just Internet Explorer.
To an earlier comment, we will support future releases of Firefox (such as 3.6) and Safari, though we can't guarantee support for pre-release versions of the browser.
Thanks again for your feedback!
Gareth Howell, i appreciate the effort of the Office Web Apps team on providing multiple platform support.
However i'm a GNU/Linux (Ubuntu) user, and i feel that my experience on this operating system will be crippled at best compared with the other operating systems.
The main reason is that i cannot install Silverlight 3, on Linux since Microsoft doesn't develop it for this operating system.
The Mono project (i think it doesn't even have full support to Silverlight 2.0) although is aiming for Silverlight maximum Compatibility isn't at a decent level of functionality comparing it to SilverLight 3.
My question is, if will be an effort between Microsoft and the Mono Project for users of GNU/Linux, can install mono and get all the enhances given by Silverlight on Office Web Apps?
I bet I could use Chrome 4.0 in Google Docs without any issues, but with MS Office Web, it probably will not work.
AppleWebKit/532.0 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/184.108.40.206
You're right, Mono currently only supports Silverlight 2. The Mono Roadmap (www.mono-project.com/MoonlightRoadmap) currently doesn't show Silverlight 3.
Unfortunately I don't have any details on when or if Mono will support Silverlight 3. If Silverlight 3 support is added in Mono, the Web Apps will be able to take advantage of Silverlight on Linux.
"Crippled" might be a strong word to describe your experience of the Web Apps without Silverlight. You'll be able to view and edit Office documents without Silverlight, and have access to all the app features.