Office Web Apps is basically a version of Microsoft Office on the Internet. While it is likely that the initial release will not provide access to the complete functionality of the various Office products like Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint it will offer the most commonly used functionality. Best of all, completely free for all Windows Live users. Microsoft began sending out invitations to the beta of Office Web Apps to Windows Live Skydrive users and after the beta tests have finished will become available to all 500 million Windows Live user.
Probably the two most interesting aspects of the announcement of Office Web Apps is that it will be completely free and compatible with browsers other than Microsoft Internet Explorer. Microsoft has not been very specific about the requirements but Brian Hall mentioned Firefox and Safari in the announcement. It is likely that additional web browsers will be supported as well. There have also been no information regarding access from other operating systems like Linux or Mac at this point.
Office Web Apps can be interesting for many users who sometimes work on computer systems where Microsoft Office is not installed. It would allow them to work with their Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents online. This would get rid of formatting problems and other difficulties when editing these documents in Office alternatives.
Interested users can apply to become a part of the Office Web Apps beta test.
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