If you’re wondering why I have never commented on any of the web-based Office’s springing up all over the place, it’s because I have yet to see one that offers anything worthwhile. Each one seems to be concerned with only one thing, taking the customer base away from MS Office. And that, in my eyes, isn’t really helping me or you. I know, several large companies have recently started using Google Apps and Zoho. And maybe that’s going to save those companies some cash. But for you and me, who don’t feel the need to upgrade every time Microsoft redesigns the user interface, where’s the perks?
That all changed when I read Nick Carr’s review over at Rough Type of Live Documents, a startup based in India and founded by the guy who dreamed up Hotmail. You should go and check out their site, it’s nice. It has a clean feel to it.
Live Documents is free to individual users, and comes at a small price for businesses. But that is not its greatest strength.
Live Documents can fully integrate with the MS Office already on your desktop. This is a first. This is a real benefit. You see, all the other new web-based Office replacements are designed to do just that: Replace MS Office. Live Documents lets you keep your existing Office and expand it into a web-enabled management suite. They copied the MS Office 2007 interface and features. I think that means you will get the Office 2007 capabilities regardless of what version of MS Office you are currently using. Hey! A free upgrade!
Live Documents is not fully online as of this writing. At the top right of their homepage is a little link that will let you apply for an account. I did.
I am Jon, and I am looking forward to my Office upgrade.