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Microsoft starts Office Web Apps roll out

Hopes SkyDrive service won't nosedive

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Microsoft has released its Office Web Apps in the UK via its online SkyDrive storage service.

The software giant plans to roll out its rival to Google Docs gradually. Currently it is only available to the US, Ireland, Blighty and Canada.

Redmond has slotted the tools into its Windows Live service, so it now sits alongside Hotmail, in a similar way to how Google Docs are knitted into Gmail.

On 15 June the rest of the world will also gain access to Microsoft's Office Web Apps, which MS described as an "online companion to Office 2010."

The service includes the ability for users to view, create, edit and share Word 2010, PowerPoint 2010, OneNote 2010 and Excel 2010 documents on phones, PCs and Apple Mac computers. It is also accessible via Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox, but not Google's Chrome.

In fact - as we've noted previously - OWA only lovingly extends official support to Internet Explorer 7 and 8; Firefox 3.5 on Windows, Mac, and Linux; and Safari 4 on Mac. And that's it. ®

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