Microsoft has announced that new Office Web Apps have gone live on SkyDrive, ahead of Windows 8’s launch on Friday.
Office Web Apps are the cut-down online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, and were introduced in 2010 as Microsoft’s answer to Google Docs.
The new version of Office Web Apps has been tweaked to run with Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10, of course, but also with iOS 6 – with the result now rolled out across SkyDrive (Microsoft’s cloud repository) and Outlook.com (the new Hotmail).
As with any cloud-based Office suite, the idea is you can access your documents from any machine at any time, without worrying about software installations – all you need is a web browser.
The refreshed office apps have seen some serious work on their editing and formatting controls, Microsoft noted in a blog post, as well as fleshing out co-authoring support (collaborating on documents being one of the primary strengths of the cloud apps).
The Word Web App has brought new features in from the desktop program, including fresh page layout tools, picture tools, and the word count function to name a few.
All the apps have also been refreshed in terms of interface, with a “clean new look and feel.”
If you want to use Office Web Apps, you’ll need to sign up for a SkyDrive account if you haven’t already got one. You’ll want one anyway if you’re planning to upgrade to Windows 8, as the new OS builds SkyDrive in.