MS Office goes Online. Sort of.

Microsoft are beta testing a document sharing and viewing service that integrates directly with your desktop version of Office.  Office Live Workspace is sort of like Google Docs, except you have to buy £300 worth of desktop software to use it, because there are no online editing tools.  What you do get is some space where you can post Office documents and Outlook data and a handy plug-in that enables you to save files direct to your online repository.  There were blog mumblings before the launch that MS was about to birth a full version of Office online – competing comprehensively with Google’s growing roster of productivity offerings.  What we’ve actually got is a halfway house.  Office owners can effectively move much of their work online with this beta – especially if they’re already integrating Outlook with Live Hotmail.  If you’re looking for an alternative to the desktop suite though, you’re out of luck.  Better go and check out Zoho or ThinkFree instead.

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