MS Office Apps Debut Online using Cloud Technology

Dennis Faas's picture

As part of its ongoing battle with Google for the Cloud computing crown, Microsoft is bringing a version of its Office suite to Facebook, as well as ''. It appears to be a way of promoting the online edition of Office 2010, which includes MS Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. (Source:

The Facebook app will simply be known as Docs; a somewhat cheeky title given that's also the name of Google's free spreadsheet application. Microsoft's new tool will be a specially adapted version of Office 2010 designed to work within the social networking system.

The idea appears to be to offer a more flexible approach, as users will be able to perform basic document editing within Facebook itself, or instantly switch over to using Microsoft Office on their computer for more advanced work. Users will also be able to share documents either with individual Facebook friends, all their friends, or open it up to any visitor to Facebook.

Deal Gives Increased Value to MS Office Brand

Microsoft's Lil Cheng says "it's our belief that we may increase the value of Office 'docs' by giving everyone the ability to seamlessly take their friends and connections with them from Facebook to"

Of course, that's also good news for Microsoft, as it means more people will try out the online version of Office without the need to create a new account and set-up connections with friends and colleagues all over again. (Source:

Incorporating Office into Facebook could also capture the interest of people who'd previously not considered online document collaboration. For example, members of Facebook groups which spring up for a particular cause or issue could use the tool to draft letters of protest to public officials.

MS Office App Also Available at

As well as being a Facebook application, the service will also be available directly at, although it appears that a Facebook account is required to login. For the moment the site is at the beta stage and potential users can sign up to a waiting list. The application itself is already in Facebook's system but isn't yet active and instead produces an error message.

It's not entirely clear yet what differences, if any, there will be between the Facebook tool and the forthcoming Office 2010 Web edition, which will be released at the same time as the desktop edition of the package. The web edition will be slimmed down significantly from the desktop software, but it's possible that the Facebook version will be even more basic. (Source:

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