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Office Live Workspace : only a competitor to Google Docs ?

March 18, 2008 By: Yann Espanet Category: SaaS

Office Live Workspace is publicly available to English-speaking users worldwide. Live Workspace is not a Web-based version of Microsoft Office, but a complement to Microsoft Office according o the Software-plus-service strategy from Microsoft.  It provides an easy way for people to save their Office documents and other files to the web, and then to share their work and collaborate with others.

Others web 2.0 competitors like Google offer a fully online service for managing and sharing your document and you not need a local application to create or edit your documents. The Microsoft strategy is to offer some additional services to your local Office applications, that’s why Microsoft use the acronym S+S and not the Software As A Service (SaaS).Office Live Workspace service can be used from a PC, kiosk or other Web-access point without Office installed; all you technically need is an Internet Explorer or Firefox browser to access and share your document, but you cannot edit or create without a local installation of Office. To be able to save from inside Office to Office Live Workspace, users need to download a client plug-in that is available on the Microsoft Download Center. Microsoft has said that current Office for Mac and Open Office users also will be able to make use of Office Live Workspace, but there are no plug-ins allowing the automatic saving of content from those products to the Live service.Then, after uploading a document using the web browser or the plug-in inside Office, you can share access to this document using email or IM.You can use Microsoft SharedView for screen sharing, group chats and sharing documents with multiple people in real time.Microsoft SharedView allows connecting with up to 15 people in different locations. Users can be invited to join a session by email or IM. They are able to communicate with each other by being able to view each other’s screens and control them. Also, handouts, or files, can be broadcasted by one to all users. Creation of a session is done with Windows Live ID. SharedView also provides integration into Microsoft Office applications and Windows Live Messenger. For example, in Microsoft Office Word, if tracked changes are turned on and another user is granted control and he or she changes the documents, those changes are tracked as being done by that user. SharedView is partially ad-supported by advertisements from Live Search.SharedView is similar to Windows Meeting Space, which is included in Windows Vista. However, Windows Meeting Space supports ad hoc meetings, application sharing, file transfer, and simple messaging within a network and works primarily inside the firewall, requiring IT involvement (on both sides) to bridge firewalls. Microsoft SharedView, on the contrary is designed for collaboration over the internet. 

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