“A document is only as good as the people who contribute to it. So today, we’re introducing a new way for people to collaborate on documents with Office Web Apps.” (Amanda Lefebvre, Microsoft)
That sounds promising, doesn’t it?
For many of us, Microsoft Office has been the go-to tool for anything related to word processing, creating spreadsheets, and making presentations. While in general, users have a lot of things to say about Microsoft (the not-so-good kind), no one can deny that its Office suite is one of the best out there.
Then Google Docs came into the picture. It is compatible with Microsoft, sure, but it still did not (does not) offer all the features that Office users have gotten used to. Still, we know that collaborative efforts usually produce the best results. And that’s what Google Docs set out to achieve.
Naturally, Microsoft went in the same direction with Office Web Apps. Initially, though, there was something lacking. A huge thing, actually: real-time co-authoring/editing.
One might think that that’s not such a critical issue, but for a project with several participants who will need to share their input at any time, there is always the chance that two or more authors access documents at the same time. Without a feature allowing simultaneous edits, it is easy to imagine all sorts of disastrous scenes.
Now, Office Web Apps saves on the fly, allowing users to make changes at the same time. Each user can also see the edits being made, as they are being made. Whether you work remotely or are in a single building, this feature will certainly boost collaborative efforts.
The question is this: How does Google see this development? Are they seeing any threat at all, or are they totally confident that they have a secure foothold in the nice?
What about you, are you enticed to ditch Google Docs for Office Web Apps?