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Microsoft injects more juice into Office Web Apps

90% of docs still created on desktop, not in cloud

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Microsoft claimed yesterday that more than 20 million people have accessed its Office Web Apps service in the past 100 days.

As a result of that attention, the company has responded to customer comments about the product and added some new features to its cloudy productivity suite.

It’s added a tool that allows customers to open Office files on their desktop directly from its cloud-based SkyDrive storage function.

“We added this feature after seeing that over 90 per cent of the Office documents on SkyDrive are created in Office on the desktop. Making it easier for you to work with those files just makes sense,” said Microsoft’s Office Apps product manager Evan Lew in a blog post.

There’s also a new embed feature for PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets, allowing them to be displayed in a blog or on a website.

With PowerPoint presentations, viewers can page through a mini version of the slides or view in full screen. For example, you might embed a PowerPoint presentation of photos from your last vacation, share slides from a lecture or talk that you enjoyed, or broadcast your knowledge of a special subject.

Microsoft has additionally made Office Web Apps available to seven more countries this week. It’s already live in the US, the UK, Canada and Ireland.

The service has now been rolled out to Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Russia and Switzerland.

Microsoft has the full rundown here. ®

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