If you already use Office 365 or SkyDrive you are probably familiar with Microsoft’s Office via a browser, known as Office Web Apps. Microsoft has recently started to revamp and re-brand Office Web Apps to Office Online. This is now a very functional version of Office that can be accessed (in most cases for free) simply via a web browser.
You can see what the new Office Online is like by visiting www.office.com. You can sign into the service using a Microsoft Id. Doing so will allow your information to be available anywhere and on just about any device.
For many years Microsoft has been criticized because it didn’t have the same web capabilities that Google has with its offering. Given the rich heritage that Office applications bring to the table it is clear that Microsoft has equalled and in many cases surpassed what Google is doing. The other thing to remember is that these applications from Microsoft will continue to improve.
Importantly, if you want more power or desire to work offline you can still use the Office desktop applications like you always have and importantly link them back to Office Online. You can also purchase subscription packages that also includes a subscription to the Office desktop software.
Beyond what has been announced so far many see this as a step towards releasing Office on the iPad and other tablet platforms. Whatever happens it means that the familiar versions of Office are now available in more locations.