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Friday, September 18, 2009
Microsoft Web Apps: Office Goes to the Web

Microsoft today announced the start of the Microsoft Office Web Apps Technical Preview program for consumers.

Office Web Apps are the online, lightweight versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. With Office Web Apps people can access, share and work on Office documents from virtually anywhere with an Internet connection.

Office Web Apps will be integrated with Office 2010, giving people the ability to quickly save and open documents from the Web, directly from Microsoft Office 2010.

"Our mission with the upcoming release of Microsoft Office 2010 is to deliver a great productivity experience, improving upon what customers depend upon today, and innovating on what they?ll expect tomorrow. Office Web Apps are a key part of our vision for Office 2010," said Michael Schultz, director of marketing for Microsoft Office Services at Microsoft.

Beginning today, a limited number of invitation-only participants will receive access to lightweight versions of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint on the Web through Windows Live. The Technical Preview is available in English and Japanese, with additional languages to be added later this fall.

The early Technical Preview program is designed to collect additional feedback prior to the broad release of the service. After this Technical Preview milestone, Microsoft will continue to update the Office Web Apps, leading up to the broadly available beta and the official launch next year.

The full feature set for Office Web Apps will be available in the first half of 2010, and offered in three ways. First, Windows Live customers will have access to Office Web Apps on Windows Live SkyDrive. Second, Office Web Apps will be available to Office 2010 volume licensing business customers, hosted with Microsoft SharePoint Server on-premises. Third, businesses will also have access to Office Web Apps through Microsoft Online Services.

Office Web Apps will be accessible across PCs and Macs, and available using Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari.

Microsoft also announced the formal names for the Web-based applications. Together, the applications are called Office Web Apps. Individually, they include Word Web App, Excel Web App, PowerPoint Web App and OneNote Web App.

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