Friday, 20 February 2009

Sharing information with Office Live Beta

Okay, I guess by now anyone can tell that I am nuts about Office Live Beta. I am certainly professionally a "Microsoft person", but I am one of the many fence sitters on technology and I use a lot of non-Microsoft products. Most software I use is open source these days. So Microsoft has to earn my respect. Office Live Beta does just that. I have been using Google Docs since it came out and Office Live wins on a number of key issues:

1. UI; much cleaner and easier to understand, Microsoft owns the space of document storage UIs and has sucessfully transfered the knowledge to this product
2. Connection to the Client; if you are have a Microsoft Machine with Office you can already connect directly to Office Live Workspaces Beta with a MSN .NET account. The ability to extend Office is a killer app for the Cloud here.
3. Hotmail integration; No self respecting geek would not have both a Google Mail and MSN Hotmail account. I am one who uses his Hotmail over his Gmail account. The integration with MSN Hotmail is also a key factor but along with the inability to run on Linux a key limitation as well. You have to be "Microsofted" to use this product. From my blog logs I see that 90% of us are "Microsofted", so that should be an advantage. But I think Linux has a strong future and worry about this thing being a Silo.

A word document loaded in to Office Live can be viewed from any Windows of Mac OS machine that meets the specs. Sadly Linux is still off limits. See my post Linux + Office Live = 0.

Office Live allows sharing and collaboration. You can share the account with emails. But I still have to test how well this works with non-Hotmail email accoutns. I also need to test it on my Windows 2000 machine with IE 6. Please be patient I am only one person. Anyone out there have stories, I would love to hear from you. I have no testing machines on Vista. I assume it probably workers best on Vista with IE 7 and Office 2007 but I am on XP with IE 8 on Office 2003.

Send an email invite to someone and see how it works. I am going to test to see how it might a non-.NET email account, I imagine every geek of substance has a .NET account but what happens if I send it to a Gmail account? Going to do some more testing. Let you all know later.

Also I am going to search out some Office Live communities and if anyone knows of any please leave a comment.
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