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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
Now only if the Office Rendering engine would die and the new IE 8 engine would replace it across the board. The Office HTML/Web Engine has no place in outlook.
Newsletters should render the same in Outlook and IE.
Can you tell a reason, why it runs only on Firefox 3.5?
Silverlight does run on older Firefox versions, so why won't Office Web Apps?
Good thing you wont block any other (superior) browser, why am I forced to install FF or IE? I dont like those browsers, and you have to provide support for Opera.
When you do make the apps available, please don't redirect unsupported clients away from the page without at least providing a link to override your lack of testing. I should be able to see the web app fail in my browser so then I can fix it since you guys don't seem to have the resources.
How do much smaller teams make web sites/apps work across all modern browsers but you guys can't?
Why do you waste your time supporting Internet Explorer. If you just focused on Firefox, you would have all the platforms covered, it is a lot easier to develop for, has the best debugging tools of any platform, and your final product would probably work fine on all other browsers.
[quote] How do much smaller teams make web sites/apps work across all modern browsers but you guys can't?
Because they're not hindered by being employed@microsoft, where it appears the order of the day is to shut out any competitors to gain short-term personal winnings rather than working with them to gain long-term winnings for everyone. Arrogant and shortsighted business plan, which IMHO will ultimately bring them into some serious trouble. But hey, MS has always lived by the sword, so it would make perfect sense if they die bye the sword.
Smaller companies get better results by playing nice with the other kids - eg. supporting multiplatform.
For 30 years MS has been playing hardball.
What do yu get in return when you act aggressively? A fight.
Lock & Load - here we come!
SilverLight is a great environment for developers and end-users, but it doesn't support Arabic, since it is a Right-to-Left language, I encourage you to consider that and solve that problem.
As Gareth and a couple others have mentioned, they won't be blocking unsupported browsers--at all, period. Silverlight, it seems, will be ancillary and simply provide an _enhanced_ experience to those who have it installed. From what I've read, all of the features will work 100% the same across all browsers (where not limited by the actual browser itself) whether Silverlight is installed or not.
Let's give the team the benefit of the doubt. Microsoft isn't the same as it used to be and embracing standards is slowly but surely being baked into the mold there.
As far as supporting browsers go, it seems they've been smart and simply observed statistics. Take a look here: www.w3counter.com/globalstats.php
IE (6, 7, 8): 52.89%
Firefox (2, 3, 3.5): 30.77%
Safari (4): 3.11%
Chrome: (2): 3.11%
Opera (9.6): 1.18%
Using the numbers, with no Microsoft vs. competitor subjectivity, it's easy to see why Opera isn't on their initial list of supported browsers. Why spend time on something initially that holds such a small percentage of the market? It's not a logical business decision. Just because Opera users yell loudly doesn't mean there are a lot of them.
As for Chrome, it came out of beta only months ago. You don't alter your business plan because a new piece of tech came out that's in beta, especially when the company releasing it is infamous for keeping their products in beta for long periods of time. Considering Office Web Apps are slated for a release next year, that means they've been in development at least for a year prior to this, which means Chrome didn't exist when they started planning for and building the apps. It's difficult to work in an entirely new product when you've already got momentum with 3 others (IE, FF, Safari).
I just think everyone should do a little more research before maligning the efforts of this team. Or, at the very least, wait until the final product comes up before you wield accusations.
"As for Chrome, it came out of beta only months ago. You don't alter your business plan because .."
And SilverLight 3 was released in july 2009.
What was your point again?
@alienRancher what he meant that Microsoft started developing Office web before final version of Chrome was released.
@alienRancher: Silverlight v1 and 2 had been out and officially released (not in beta) for quite some time prior to that. It's _much_ easier to support an incremental update than it is an entirely new product--there are far fewer new bits and moving parts.
And once again, just to be clear, and I'm going only off of the words from the Office Web Apps team that they posted here, Silverlight will _not_ be required and is _not_ an integral part of the experience. Period. It may be in the future, who knows, but that's speculation, not fact.
I think it'd serve everyone if people started reading the posts and comments before replying themselves. It helps prevent FUD and the spread of misinformation.
Your statement " [While] we cannot officially support all browsers ..." is misleading in implying that technical difficulties surrounding non-officially-supported browsers are the reasons why they don't work. I reject that implication. It is just more of Microsoft, a continuation of "Windows ain't done 'till Lotus won't run" philisophy.
Some things never change. You know that if you keep piling in proprietary extensions - preferably patented ones, that you win the war for market share.
Love My Browser - Opera=Love My Office - Open Office.
Anybody can start using MS Office Web Apps, right now! Web-based MS Office, and it's FREE! To activate MS Office Web Apps just download Office 2010 Beta, and save a file to SkyDrive.
For full details follow the link in my last comment at the end of this page:-
I love it. Very cool stuff, like seeing MS PowerPoint presentations complete with animations in a web browser, and using Excel on a mobile.
no chrome?? meh. if i know google they will get right to work making sure chrome matches up. probably because they care about users more than money