This article updates you on Microsoft’s latest technology.
Microsoft today announced opening up of Office Live Workspace as a public beta (which means that public can use it but it is not the final version of the product yet).
Office Live Workspace is an online application to share MS Office documents with other users or for people who work from multiple computers to access their documents.
Users can upload upto 1000 documents (includes office documents like Word, Excel, Powerpoint and other documents like PDF files, JPG images etc) on Office Live Workspace. These documents can then be accessed from any other computer by the user. Other users can also be invited using this service with whom the documents can be shared. The users of this service also get control to invite people to just view the documents, edit them or review them.
Actual editing of content will still require installation of MS Office on the hard drive of the users, though that is not a necessary requirement to download the documents. Microsoft has also come up with plugins for Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint using which users can directly access documents from / save to Office Live Workspace.
We feel that inability to edit documents online (unlike office suites like Google Docs or Zoho) makes this application little more than an extended, safer documents sharing service; extended because it contains office-specific features like editing controls, etc which are not available elsewhere & safer since all documents will be protected from viruses Microsoft Forefront Security for SharePoint. In the press conference Microsoft has stated that sometime in the future the ability to edit documents online may also be added to this service in the future.
Sarah at ReadWriteWeb has done an interesting comparison between Google Docs and Office Live Workspace features here.
UPDATE: Just noticed some restrictions on this service:
a) You can only share documents with at the most 100 people.
b) Maximum file size of any single document needs to be less than 2.5MB and overall maximum size for all 1000 documents is 500 MB.