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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.
Sir why this office web application is not available in Pakistan??
every time i try to open any document(word,excel,power point) a message displayed THIS IS CURRENTLY NOT AVAILABLE IN YOUR REGION???
I like the new features. I haven't tried them yet but they look promising; I look forward to using it. Keep up the great work.
i have no i idea what ur talking about
I'm about to create a blog of my own on several topics but the simple theme is to assist others in life coaching and creating a new, healthier lifestyle. Your App may prove invaluable as I create, develop and edit documents to post to numerous locations. I can't wait to try it!
it would be nice if someone from microsoft would contact me so i could verify my hotmail account, you see someone has blocked my account and i have tryed many times to verify but you wont send a code to unblock. it is really starting to get me very upset please send email or a contact phone number were i can contact you
I dont see much difference, looks the same. Soz :'(
It was not helpfull to me anyone of you have any other way to tell me so I can get it helpfull
me gusto y es practico....y facil...a veces se cuelga pero por problemas con hotmail que no se puede abrir los mails.muy buenoo
I think this a great service, it enables one to run his office from virtually anywhere. Can you give us more tips on how to put this service in great use?
Please bring these features to Sharepoint. They should be included in updates.
Where can I get a book or manual on Windows Live and Web Apps so I can understand the whole picture. I even tried saving blogs and stuff in a PowerPoint to build my own manual, but that seems impossible.
how do i discontinue the office program from my computer i did a trial run and i just do not need this program thanks Edward Ferrell at email@example.com
good Idea thank you
great for group researches as me and my friends do with other services indirectly and with trouble
it is a posisive contribution to the WORLD,IT WILL MAKE WORKING EASY. MANY THANKS
yep, we read it all and want 2 know more of its uses...
plz suggest me...