Microsoft announced on Wednesday that it will soon be expanding its online Office Web Apps functionality, by adding new features to be better on-par with online document editing provided by Google.
Specifically, Redmond-based Microsoft detailed in a blog post that it would be adding real-time document editing and co-authoring to Office Web Apps, allowing people to work together at the same time. Co-authoring was available in the past on the web and desktop interface of Office, though not as robust to where it was in real-time.
"We’ll introduce real time co-authoring in the Office Web Apps so that all file authors will automatically see presence and edits from others as they happen without needing to refresh," wrote Microsoft.
The first hint of real-time collaboration will come through the PowerPoint Web App today, where students, co-workers, families, and more, can bust through presentations together. Furthermore, Microsoft said the co-authoring and editing features will be rolling out to all the Microsoft Web Apps in the coming months. Microsoft released a video to give a taste of the feature.
"By building more Office tools for the web, improving on our collaboration experiences and continued commitment to broad browser support customers will be able to use Office as easily on the web as on their desktop," wrote the company.
Additionally, Microsoft will be adding better mobile capabilities to Android tablets. This type of functionality is already seen in Windows 8 tablets and iPads, where the interface is tailored to touch and the smaller screen tablets invoke. Specifically, the functionality will be extended to Android tablets "via mobile Chrome browser support." It's not clear if the stock Android browser and third-party solutions offered on Google Play are ruled out.
Office Web Apps has been available to the masses since 2010, offering users an online version of Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft OneNote. It is available in SkyDrive and several Office 365 programs.
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