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Nearly 50 million people worldwide are using the Office Web Apps on SkyDrive and Hotmail. As we've mentioned on this blog before, we’re always listening to your suggestions about how to improve the Office Web Apps experience. Today, we’re thrilled to announce another new feature based on your requests: You can now co-author in the Word Web App on SkyDrive.
Building on the collaboration features already available in Word 2010 and Word for Mac 2011, co-authoring in the Word Web App on SkyDrive helps you collaborate with others on polished content without having to leave your web browser. Just sign into SkyDrive and you’re ready to get started!
Our approach to co-authoring in the Word Web App on SkyDrive reflects our team’s deep understanding of how our customers prefer to collaborate and get things done, based on what you’ve told us and how we’ve observed the use of Office. To help us design co-authoring, we read a lot of your comments, and watched, asked, and listened to how customers said they wanted to work together when working on Office documents. We discovered that expectations change based on the type of document and style of collaboration in play.
Sometimes, people prefer an ad-hoc, brainstorming style of collaboration and want to see others' edits as they type. OneNote is great for this, and that's exactly how collaboration in OneNote has worked, ever since we first shipped it back in 2003. You can collaborate this way in the OneNote Web App, too.
We also learned that most people don’t want others to see their thoughts and edits in a polished document until they’re ready. At the same time, other contributors to the document want to review and digest changes being made before they react and respond instead of seeing others typing in the document where they're working.
We designed co-authoring in the Word Web App on SkyDrive accordingly: When you’re co-authoring, you always have a real time view into who is making changes and where these changes are occurring. As soon as you begin typing, the corresponding section of the document is locked and others are notified, placing you in control and freeing others from distraction. Contributors can hit “save” at any time to see an updated view of all changes.
We are super-excited about this new functionality. Like proud parents, we’ve put together a few pictures (and some more detailed information) to share:
You don’t need to do anything special – just open your document in the Word Web App, and we’ll tell you if there’s anyone working with you. And, as you’re working, if anyone comes or goes, we’ll let you know about that too.
If you miss the message (or you’re just curious), you can check out the View tab to see who’s still there at any time:
Beyond that, everything else works like it does when you edit a document by yourself in the Word Web App—you type where you want to type and you save when you want to share your changes.
Whenever you start typing in a specific paragraph, we reserve it for you, so that nobody else can edit there until you’re done. When that happens, the paragraph has a dotted line around its left edge, and everyone else in the document sees a lock with your name on it, so they know you’re busy working:
what you see... (notice the line)
what they see… (and they hovered on the icon, so they can see who “someone” is)
That lock is released whenever you save, and all of your changes are shared with everyone else that’s working on the document. That last part’s important – your changes are revealed and others’ changes appear in the document only when you click Save.
If one of the other authors saves, we let you know in two (hopefully non-distracting) ways:
When you're ready to save, their changes will appear in the document, yours will be pushed out for everyone else to download, and we'll highlight the new parts in green:
Really – that’s it. One last (big) thing: all of this works today across the Word Web App on SkyDrive, Word 2010, and Word for Mac 2011, so you can work together and be more productive across the browser, the PC, or the Mac.
Even while we were developing this new feature, as a team we continued to read feedback (yep, we read it all) and every time we see this request we think “yes, any day now, I promise.” Thankfully, today’s the day we get to share it. And we hope you’ll keep the feedback coming!
Tristan Davis and Jenni French
Office Web Apps Team
P.S. We hope you'll like this new feature as much as we do—we even used it to write this blog entry! Our friends on the Windows Live SkyDrive team have also been using this new functionality to manage their team blog. Check out what they have to say on the Inside Windows Live blog.
@Marie Duffey - The Office Web Apps are available without an install. Just go to http://office.live.com, sign-in using your Live ID and then you can view & edit Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote files in your browser.
@Asoka - The Office Web Apps do not require Microsoft Office to be installed on your computer, or for you to be on a Microsoft Windows machine. They should work using the latest (official) versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla FireFox, Apple Safari (on Mac), and Google Chrome.
@James - Microsoft Word 2010 on PC and Microsoft Word 2011 on MAC both support coauthoring as well. You do not need to use the Word Web App to coauthor, but all three of them support coauthoring and any combination of them can coauthor.
@Jose Cotto - Essentially, if you and a friend are collaborating on a document (say, a paper for school), you can both be editing it at the same time. The Windows Live Team Blog has a good video explaining this: windowsteamblog.com/.../work-on-word-docs-at-the-same-time-as-others-using-skydrive.aspx
The Hebrew word Shalom means much more than peace, hello or goodbye.
In essence it means: Completeness, Wholeness, Health, Peace, Welfare, Safety, Soundness, Tranquility, Prosperity, Perfectness, Fullness, Rest, Harmony, the Absence of Agitation or Discord.
This is the highest form of greeting someone, and with this we greet you in the precious Name of Yahweh, our Heavenly Father and Creator of all…
...looks like MS is taking back some stuff from the boys at Google. Could get interesting - Google-Docs works well, but I trust them even less that MS!
must to leran more and nice idea i thing must to be move to learn the pepole how this work tnx all
That is interesting and needs to be explored.
they are working hard on office webapps, they are working first in their office, or what? better pdf support than word co-authoring? just download the file and stop asking for something not so important, i want more office desktop features in webapps like other people. its not like they aren't developing more stuff.
office web apps is nice but i want succes cost plz
we dont have any power of Microsoft
sometime icant open my email what can i do?
This will come in very handy-Great job!
Its realy the good thing related Microsoft Office
Hi Rob, I dont know if you responded to Simon, I didnt see a response, but can we expect this for the Office Web Apps in Office 365? If so, how soon?
@Dewight Flinch - We have no public information to share about that at this time.
Ok, thanks for your prompt response Rob.
Is there any way possible we would be alerted of any updates?
Sir, in our region this office web application is not available WHY WHY WHY this is not fair..??