Feeds

Office Online rises from ashes of 'confusing' Office Web Apps

Relaunched web productivity suite offers easier access

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

One day after rebranding its cloud storage service as OneDrive, Microsoft has relaunched the web-based versions of its Office productivity applications under the new, friendlier moniker of Office Online.

Redmond was forced to rename its SkyDrive service as OneDrive on Wednesday after losing a trademark dispute with British Sky Broadcasting. But no similar issue caused Microsoft to change the name of its browser-based productivity software from Office Web Apps to Office Online; rather, the company says, the old name was just too hard for customers to understand.

"We heard from customers that the inclusion of Apps in our name was confusing," wrote Office Online marketing manager Amanda Lefebvre in a blog post on Thursday. "Are they something I install? Do I go to an app store to get them?"

The answer, of course, is no – Office Online (née Office Web Apps) is merely a set of HTML-based facsimiles of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote that allow you to create and edit Office-compatible documents in your web browser.

Much like rival Google Docs, Microsoft's web-based offerings have far fewer features than the desktop Office applications, but they allow basic editing and formatting. And unlike Google Docs, Office Online offers near-perfect fidelity when viewing Office documents on the web.

Office Online

The rebranded Office Online offers a new web-based launcher with a familiar look and feel

Along with the name change to Office Online, the web applications can now be launched from a new, easy-to-access website at Office.com. In addition to the four Office apps, the site also includes launcher tiles for Outlook.com, Microsoft's web-based People and Calendar apps, and OneDrive, which is where Office Online stores users' documents.

Microsoft has also integrated a launcher into each of the Office Online components that offers the same tiles as the Office.com homepage and can be accessed by clicking an arrow in the upper left of the browser window.

The relaunched Office Online site also now offers a wide variety of templates for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint that can be used to create new documents.

Access to Office Online is free, although you may need to pay if you want more than the 7GB of storage OneDrive offers to start. Like OneDrive, however, Office Online does require you to sign up for a Microsoft Account. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Like condoms, data now comes in big and HUGE sizes
Linux Foundation lights a fire under storage devs with new conference
Community chest: Storage firms need to pay open-source debts
Samba implementation? Time to get some devs on the job
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?