Oct 28 2008

Microsoft’s “Office Web” announcement.

Well, the announcement happened, and its vaporware.

Microsoft’s anouncement is that you will be able to “create, edit and collaborate” on Office documents using your web browser (IE, Firefox, or Safari), but not until Office 14.

Office 14 is expected late 2009 or 2010. So if you wait for Microsoft to deliver Office 14 – and your IT department to roll it out – before you start collaborating in Word, count on waiting until 2011. They didn’t tell you you can get started now, using Plutext and Word 2007 :-)

That’s the only real surprise.

There were no surprises re:

  • Technology – Office Web uses Silverlight (or AJAX)
  • Delivery model – you need Sharepoint or Office Live Workspace to host the service
  • Pricing – it is available as a hosted subscription service or through existing volume licensing agreements

It is interesting to see that their collaboration stuff seems to work on a synch-every-few-seconds model (like Google Docs) in OneNote, but in Word the user has to explicitly synch.  I’ll blog in another post why this is the correct design decision.

What happens if you go offline? This probably depends on underlying support for offline in Silverlight.

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