Posted by: kurtsh | September 19, 2009

BETA: Microsoft Office Web Apps Technical Preview

imageYes, we released the Office Web Apps for usage by nominated applicants through the Tech Preview program.  (Translation:  You had to apply to the Tech Preview program prior to have received access)

From the FAQ:

  1. What are Office Web Apps?
    Office Web Apps are free online companions to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote that give you the freedom to view, create, and edit documents using the familiar Office interface. They let you to access your documents from virtually anywhere on a Web browser (Internet Explorer, Safari, and Firefox), as well as share files and work with others online. OneNote Web App will be available at a later date.

  2. Who are Office Web Apps for?
    Office Web Apps are perfect for people on the move who always need access to their documents. They are especially useful for people working in teams that want a convenient way to share files with others.

    If you’re working on a group project, you can easily view your documents with Word Web App and start building your presentation with PowerPoint Web App wherever your group chooses to meet. Then, each team member can make additions to the presentation on their own time, without emailing files or dealing with multiple copies of any document.

  3. imageWhy should I join the Office Web Apps Technical Preview?
    These browser-based applications give you the freedom to view and edit Office documents from any PC or Mac with an Internet connection, and you’re selected to try them out before anyone else. While the functionality is limited during this Technical Preview, your feedback will play a large role in shaping the overall experience of the Office Web Apps.

  4. What can I do with Office Web Apps?
    During the Technical Preview the features and functionality of the Office Web Apps will be limited. Currently you can create, view, and edit PowerPoint and Excel files and view Word documents in the browser. Additional functionality and features will be added in the upcoming months as we continue to gather feedback from people like you..

    If you have not been invited to the Technical Preview, you will not be able to access the Office Web Apps yet. We are currently expanding our user base and will communicate when they are available for public use.

  5. What will happen to my files and data during the Technical Preview?
    Throughout the Technical Preview, Microsoft will be continuously updating and modifying the Office Web App services.  While we will make a best effort to ensure that these updates have minimal impact to your documents, there is a chance that we will make changes which result in loss of data from one version to the next.  As you use the Office Web Apps Technical Preview, it is recommended that you periodically open any important files in Office 2007 or earlier, and use the desktop application to save those files locally.  Creating a local copy will ensure that your most important documents continue to be accessible should we introduce a change during the Technical Preview.

  6. What will happen to my files and data after the Technical Preview?
    At the end of the Office Web Apps Technical Preview, your files will still be available on Windows Live SkyDrive. You will continue to have access to the Office Web Apps.

  7. How do I sign up and get started?
    To take part in the Office Web Apps Technical Preview, opt-in to start. After you opt-in, you can upload, create, and edit files in your SkyDrive Documents folder.

    1. Sign in to SkyDrive using your Windows Live ID.

    2. Click on Documents folder

    3. Add the Getting Started Guide or any other Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files to this folder, or create a new folder.

    4. Select a document, and click “View” to view it or “Edit” to edit it. Online editing is currently available for Excel and PowerPoint files only. The ability to edit Word documents online will be available at a later date.

  8. How can I access my files on Windows Live SkyDrive?
    Go to, sign in using your Windows Live ID, and click on the Documents folder. You can view, edit, and create new files here. Online editing is currently available for Excel and PowerPoint files only. The capability to edit Word documents will be available at a later date.

  9. Can I use the Office 2010 Client Technical Preview with the Office Web Apps?
    Office Web Apps and the Office 2010 client are being developed at different velocities and are not necessarily in synch with one another at all times.  Office Web Apps service has been updated multiple times since the release of the Office 2010 Technical Preview and for that reason there might be compatibility issues.  Microsoft will fully support the Office 2010 Beta client against the Office Web Apps when it is released.

  10. Do I need to download anything to use Office with SkyDrive?
    In some instances, customers running Office 2003 or Office 2007 may face multiple authentication requests for their Windows Live ID credentials and may experience noticeable lag times when trying to open a document from SkyDrive. We are aware of this issue and are working to address it in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, you may find that installing the Windows Live Sign-in assistant improves this experience.

  11. How do I get help?
    For more information and help getting started, download our Getting Started Guide. Make sure to add this page to your favorites so you can always come back.

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