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With the release of Office 2010, Microsoft also released Office for the Web, Web versions of Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Word. If you have documents stored in SharePoint or on a Windows SkyDrive, you can open, view, edit and save those documents and create new documents on any computer connected to the Internet, even if it doesn't have the latest version of Microsoft Word. I'm in my company's SharePoint site. Let's say I am looking at this from a public computer in a library, or in the lobby of the hotel that I'm staying at, while I do some work.
I have a document in my Human Resources folder that I need to review, called Definitions for Review. And when I click the Open menu, I have some choices. One choice is to edit this document in Microsoft Word. But perhaps this particular computer I'm using doesn't have Microsoft Word. I have another choice, which is to edit this document in a browser, or to view it in a browser. And when I choose Edit in browser, I will actually be using the new Microsoft Word Web App, as you can see here.
It's a shorter Ribbon than we are used to, with fewer choices. However, I can enter text. I can insert a limited set of objects. And I can view this in Editing View or Reading View. Now, without Track Changes turned on, I'm going to have to go out of my way to format my comments in such a way that people understand their comments and not new text. So if this is just a comment, I might do something like that so people can easily see it.
But I can also simply edit this document. If I wish, I can change my Styles. And I can enter and edit text and format it. The Office 2010 Web Applications are also available on the Windows Live SkyDrive to add new documents. And you'll find them in some other locations. For example, there is a site called docs.com. That's a social networking site that Microsoft has set up for Office users, where you can use the Microsoft Office Web Apps because they're being hosted here.
So from SkyDrive, to docs.com, to SharePoint, I have access to this later version of Microsoft Word called the Microsoft Word Web App. When I'm on vacation for a few days or a week, I don't necessarily want to take my laptop along just to do a little bit of editing or a couple of hours of work. And now, with Microsoft Word Web Apps, I don't have to. I can use any computer to work on my Word documents that I've stored on SharePoint, SkyDrive, or at another Web location that hosts the Word Web Apps.
Now that I can use Office online, my laptop gets to spend more weekends and holidays at home instead of in the overhead bin.
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