In a long-expected and overdue move, Microsoft on Tuesday announced that they are bringing crucial parts of its best-selling office productivity suite to the Web as cloud-based services. Dubbed Office Web Applications for now, this service will allow users to view and edit Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote documents online using a Web browser.

"As part of the next release of Office, we're announcing that Microsoft will deliver Office Web applications--lightweight versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote--through a browser," Microsoft Senior Vice President Chris Capossela said. "With these new applications, people can use a browser to create, edit, and collaborate on Office documents. What's great is that this provides a consistent Office experience when and where our customers want it, regardless of whether they are accessing their Office documents through the PC, phone, or browser."

Office Web Applications will be released as part of the so-called Office 14 wave of products, which will include new Office suites and applications, servers, and online services through Office Live. Microsoft has yet to discuss when this new wave of Office products can be expected, but a beta version of Office Web Applications will ship by the end of 2008.

If you're interested in Office Web Applications, please check out my Microsoft Office 14 Web Applications Preview on the SuperSite for Windows.
http://www.winsupersite.com/article/office/microsoft-office-14-web-applications-preview.aspx