Office Web Apps: More Office, more collaborative, more devices
Microsoft has a fully featured, inclusive approach to productivity that spans
platforms, devices, browsers, online and offline experiences. After more than
two decades delivering the world’s most familiar and trusted productivity tools,
we’re incredibly proud that more than 1 billion people worldwide have chosen to
When we launched the Office Web Apps in 2010, they were companions to the
Office desktop experience that enabled lightweight, on-the-go content creation
and review. Since then, we’ve made a number of investments in Office Web Apps to
make it easier for people to work together, author documents and access Office
content from virtually any device.
As we think about how people communicate and collaborate today and how their
needs will evolve in the future, we’d like to share our plans for some of the
investments we are making in the Office Web Apps over the next year and
We’re extending more of the Office experience to the Office Web Apps
Our goal is to deliver Office Web Apps that people can rely on to create
polished Office documents from start to finish, all from the Web. Since we first
launched Office Web Apps, browser technologies and speeds have advanced and the
development infrastructure has matured, making the Web a better platform on
which to build Office and more quickly innovate on the Web. With these
improvements, we’re better able to deliver a comprehensive productivity
experience with the Office Web Apps.
To realize our goal of a great Office experience on the Web we’re investing
in three areas: user experience, social and collaboration, and broad cross
platform browser support. You’ll see us introducing a collection of authoring
features that make it easier to collaborate in the cloud, a new real time
co-authoring experience and editing capabilities from more devices.
Online user experience
We tend to see consistent customer feedback around the next must have
features people consider essential to their Office experience. We’ve prioritized
features that make it easier to work via the Web, including things as simple as
adding find and replace in Word Web App to improving the general experience by
speeding up launch times and making file management simpler. While we’ll
continue to deliver a great Office experience on the desktop, Office Web Apps
provide yet another option for Office customers to be more productive. With
these changes, you’ll get uncompromised productivity anytime and anywhere you
choose to work.
Edit from Android tablets
The Office Web Apps also serve as a key connection point between Office and
the expanding array of devices our customers use. We enable you to access Office
content and tools from your device of choice through cross browser support on
those devices where Office isn’t installed or available. The full power of the
Office Web Apps is already available for Windows 8 tablets and iPads and we will
be extending the same capabilities to Android tablets via mobile Chrome browser
From same-time to real-time co-authoring
Today, we have co-authoring capabilities across Office Web Apps and the
Office desktop applications that allow multiple editors to work in a single
document at the same time. Collaboration is highly flexible, allowing you to
work together at the same time when everyone is online or even when working
offline all while preserving the rich formatting and design of your document and
ensuring users don’t edit on top of each other.
Since first introducing co-authoring in the Office Web Apps, we’ve seen an
increasing demand for more fluid and dynamic collaboration capabilities when
working online. We’ll introduce real time co-authoring in the Office Web Apps so
that all file authors will automatically see presence and edits from others as
they happen without needing to refresh. This is a subtle change, but a great
enhancement to enable even richer collaboration.
We have started to deliver on this in the PowerPoint Web App where users can
now see each other’s changes almost immediately. You can see it in action in the
video below or give it a try yourself with your presentations stored in SkyDrive
or SharePoint Online. In the next few months you’ll see PowerPoint Web App
co-authoring get even faster and real time co-authoring support in the other
Office Web Apps.
By building more Office tools for the web, improving on our collaboration
experiences and continued commitment to broad browser support customers will be
able to use Office as easily on the web as on their desktop. Throughout the
process your feedback helps inform how we prioritize future capabilities and
improvements to the Office experience. The collaboration with you is essential
as we embark on the next chapter in our journey to put Office in the cloud.
Share your thoughts here in comments or through our customer feedback tool
within the Office Web Apps.