Microsoft Office Web Apps


Microsoft’s Office Web Apps have garnered a lot of interest recently as a new way of interacting with Office, and as a competitive move against Google Docs. Despite me having had the Tech Preview of Office for a while (and indeed, I installed the beta tonight), I’ve just got Web Apps in my Windows Live SkyDrive…so let’s take a look :-)

I now have a button entitled “New”:

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Excel Workbook:

After giving the workbook a name, you’re presented with what is easily recognisable as an Excel Workbook:

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You can see that most of the ribbons tabs are missing, here we have just “Home” and “Insert”, but I can do pretty much everything I generally need to do in Excel. Admittedly I’m nowhere near a Power User but I think I’m probably a typical user..

FAQs:

Can I do Sums? Yes:

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Can I drag a formula down into other cells? No

Can I create Charts? No

Can I change font size, colour and type? Yes

Can I insert tables? Yes

Can I do filters? Yes, if you insert the data into a table:

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Can I paste into Excel Web Apps from other programs? Yes

The “File” menu has some extra options too:

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Word:

Word Web App isn’t available yet:

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Powerpoint:

Powerpoint Online is similar to Excel, in that it is cut down but contains all the basic features you’re likely to need:

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You get a choice of different types of slide when you add a new one:

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Something I wasn’t expecting is a great choice of Smart Art:

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That’s pretty impressive :-)

The Slideshow works perfectly well but it opens up in a new browser window, so it gets stopped by pop-up blockers.

The big thing that’s missing is Transitions though…maybe they’ll be coming soon…

OneNote:

Same as Word, OneNote isn’t available yet:

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Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2009 Day 1


Today was the first day of Microsoft’s PDC with a keynote from Ray Ozzie & Bob Muglia and, as you’d expect from “The Ozmeister” (as I’m now calling him!), the “Cloud” featured pretty heavily in the form of Windows Azure.

Windows Azure Launch Date: Windows Azure will officially launch 01/01/10 (January 1st 2010) and, as a little sweetener, the 1st month will be free :-)

WordPress runs on Windows Azure: This is pretty cool – who knew?!

Oddly Specific runs on Windows Azure: From the creator of “I Can Haz Cheezburger?” comes a new site “Oddly Specific”. Funny AND runs on Windows Azure.

Back off, grabby mcgee.

Microsoft Project Dallas: This is an “information and brokerage service” designed to allow access to commercial and reference data from people such as:

  • Associated Press
  • NASA
  • National Geographic
  • UN

and more.

The aim is to create Data As A Service (DAAS) and let data become a commodity…this could be huge!

Microsoft Project Sydney: This will enable you to connect existing in-house/on-premise services with those running in the cloud on Azure. This is a huge leap forward for Azure becoming an integral part of corporate environments.

Microsoft AppFabric: Windows Server AppFabric is:

“set of integrated technologies that make it easier to build, scale and manage web and composite applications that run on IIS”

It has 3 main parts to it which are:

  • Caching
  • Workflow Management
  • Service Management

What was once known as “Dublin” is now makes it easier to build/manage services using Windows Workflow Foundation & Windows Communication Foundation.

Another codename that’s been wrapped into AppFabric is “Velocity”. I haven’t heard of this before but it provide caching capabilities to

“provide high-speed access, scale, and high availability to application data”

You can see more info and some AppFabric samples here:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/windowsserver/ee695849.aspx

These are the main points I’ve picked up today from Twitter using the hashtag #PDC09 as I’m not in L.A myself :-( As more details become available, I’ll update this/do some new posts.

Also, tomorrow’s keynote is going to include talk of Internet Explorer 9 (that’s right NINE!) so I’ll be covering that ASAP… :-)