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December 11, 2007

Microsoft’s Office Live Workspace enters public beta

Posted by David Hunter at 2:09 AM ET.

Microsoft announced Office Live Workspace in October and today started rolling out the public beta. The play here is for Microsoft to bring some sort of equivalent of the easy document sharing provided by Web-based office software competitors to the users of their cash cow desktop Microsoft Office software. They have done this in essence by adding new file saving options to Office applications and connecting them to a document checkout service running on the Internet.

That certainly provides the sharing function, but the early press reviews are generally less than ecstatic because Office Live Workspace doesn’t provide any of Web editing features of the Web-based competition. Past indications were that it would be a cold day in Hell when that happened, but Microsoft seems to be changing its tune as Erick Schonfeld reports:

Granted, this is version 1.0 of a beta. It will get better. One of the Microsoft execs who visited made it clear to me that the company’s goal is “bridge the gap between the online and offline world so that people don’t have to care where a document lives.” He also suggested online editing capabilities would be coming “maybe next year.”

As long as the Web editing functionality is tied to a registered copy of Microsoft Office, the Microsoft bean counters won’t care, but how long can they keep it tied up?

Filed under Beta and CTP, Microsoft, Office Live, Office Live Workspace

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2 Responses to “Microsoft’s Office Live Workspace enters public beta”

  1. Office Live Workspace beta goes worldwide | Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Microsoft conceived of Office Live Workspace, a free web-based extension of Microsoft Office, as a way to counter the easy document sharing selling point of the various Web office app vendors and started a public beta last December. Today Microsoft announced that the beta is now available worldwide albeit only in the English language. [...]

  2. Office Live Workspace to ship before year end | Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] customers sign up for the beta of their Google Docs spoiler, Windows Live Workspace, which was originally offered publicly last December. More importantly, they are telling Mary Jo Foley that it will be out of beta by the end of the [...]

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