March 20 2012

Office Web Apps compete with Google Docs

by Barbie in Editing

I’m a Google Docs loyalist. I’m doing more and more work in Google Docs these days — the convenience of having your work accessible no matter where you are or what computer you’re on is unmatched. If I can’t work in Google Docs, I have my documents saved in Dropbox. In short, nothing is saved on my hard drive anymore.

So, when I received an email from Microsoft this week about its Office Web Apps, I was intrigued. I work in Office all day, every day, so a way to use Office in a cloud is certainly appealing. Microsoft seems to be taking aim at Google Docs with comparisons like this one. To work with Office Web Apps, all you need is a Windows Live ID, so I signed up to give it a try.

When creating a Word document, PowerPoint presentation, or Excel spreadsheet using these Web Apps, you see an interface quite similar to the original software. You can share the document with other users, just like Google Docs. Also like Google Docs, you can export the web files to the traditional .docx, .ppt, or .xls file extension.

I’ll continue to explore using Office Web Apps, though my well-organized Google Docs page with dozens of documents and spreadsheets would be tough to leave. If the Word Web App starts to offer reviewing tools, I’d certainly consider making the switch, as it would allow me to edit and collaborate with clients without the hassle of emailing documents back and forth.