Office Online Arrives Close On The Heels Of OneDrive…
The reimagining of Office Web Apps as Office Online addresses a combination of UX and exposure challenges for Office Web.
Previously, when I informed people that SkyDrive had free Web versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote I was greeted with a combination of amazement and skepticism.
After demonstrating or directing them to the Apps, by and large these sentiments were replaced with glee at having their familiar, albeit limited feature Office for FREE.
Refocusing and Reinventing Productivity
This is not just simple rebranding. By creating Office.com as the access-point for Office Online it has made the process, well Office-centric.
Prior to this Office Web Apps were dismayingly concealed behind the Create menu button in SkyDrive.
Most users simply didn’t realize that all their productivity was hidden behind that simple button.
Refocusing from SkyDrive, excuse me OneDrive to Office.com shifts the focus and user perception that OneDrive is incredibly valuable as your cloud storage but it is one of several powerful parts of Office Online.
The Unified Field Theory Of Productivity
It’s important to note that all you need to get started is a Microsoft account. If you notice the image above of the homepage of Office.com, in addition to the aforementioned Office Web Apps the user also has access to their Outlook.com, OneDrive, People and Calendar and all with the New Windows UI of Windows 8.1 or Windows Phone 8.
This is not just a shift in focus or rebranding, Office Online is a comprehensive, FREE productivity ecosystem that parallels Office 365/2013.
This is not all though, Microsoft’s Office Online team have added new features (for the launch and recently): –
- Once in any of the Office Apps the user can access the App Switcher by hitting the arrow button to the right of the App name (top left) and selecting the App to switch to.
- Real Time Co-authoring: work with your co-workers or anyone, anywhere as long as they are in Office.
the difference between a good document and a great document can be using a template and there are free templates available and easily accessible whenever you create a new Office Online document.
The Warptest POV
Office Online combined with OneDrive mean that Microsoft understand their consumers. Most home users don’t need or ever use more than the basic features of Office. Did I mention the word FREE?
Add to the mix the pending penetration of other mobile platforms by Office and the ability to switch from using Office Online to Office on your computer when needed and you have a winning productivity solution whose UX makes you want to be both collaborative and productive.
I’m going to give Office Online a strong recommendation and suggest that if you haven’t tried it recently or never then get signed in and take it for a spin. You will be wowed.
Who’s ready to make productivity awesome again?