Experiencing modern Office with SkyDrive: Cloud-first. No compromises.

Experiencing modern Office with SkyDrive: Cloud-first. No compromises.

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Last November, we shared our thoughts on the state of personal cloud storage and our vision for connecting file, app and device clouds to address key customer problems. For example, students start and finish projects in Microsoft Office, but that 75% of them use other tools in between, such as email, Google Docs, and Dropbox. Using these different tools can lead to formatting loss, extra steps and versions, or just confusion, since each tool has its own limitations.

It’s been nine months since we shared our vision. Yet we know many of you are still struggling with these problems – or worse, you’re forced to compromise and use lesser tools.

Announced earlier this week, the new Office puts an end to that.  It connects naturally to the cloud – giving you automatic access to personal documents from any device and the ability to easily share and create together with anyone – right from Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. (There’s also a new version of SkyDrive designed for organizations. Employees can now get the benefits of SkyDrive for work documents while administrators get the management and compliance features they need.)

And today, we’re excited to announce the new Office Web Apps for SkyDrive customers. Available as an opt-in preview, this is the most significant update we have ever released. The new Web Apps offer a great new look, improved performance, and many new features.

Here’s how to start experiencing a modern Office with SkyDrive today:

Install Office 365 Home Premium Preview


The install takes just a few minutes and you can:

  • Save documents to SkyDrive automatically
    Office installs SkyDrive for the Windows desktop so new documents are automatically saved privately and safely to the cloud. Your documents are all stored offline on your PC allowing you to work anywhere, any time, on any doc.
  • Share using SkyDrive without leaving the app
    From Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, you can share any document using SkyDrive. This includes sharing to any email address in your Microsoft account address book (including your Google, LinkedIn, and Hotmail contacts), getting a view or view & edit link, or posting to a social network connected to your Microsoft account (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn).
  • Work together in real time
    Edit documents or presentations in real time without ever leaving Word or PowerPoint. You can also collaborate with others using Office 2010 or Office 2011.

Opt in to Office Web Apps Preview

Sign in using this special link and create a new document. Then you can:

  • Get improved authoring right in your browser
    While many people enjoyed the convenience of using the Office Web Apps in a browser, they missed functionality that they were used to in desktop Office. With this release you can now create more professional looking documents and we implemented many top customer requests.
  • Touch support
    Office Web Apps now work with more browsers and devices. They include a new touch-friendly user interface so you can work on your documents on devices like Windows 8 tablets or modern smartphones.
  • Work together with anyone
    You can now work together at the same time as others in all four Office Web Apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote).

We encourage you to visit the Office Next blog for details about all of the features including screenshots.

This is a big week for SkyDrive and Office. Please try out the new features, share with friends, and give us your feedback via Twitter or by clicking the smiley face in the products. We’re listening.

Omar Shahine
Group Program Manager, SkyDrive.com

14 Comments
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  • abm
    268 Posts

    @Nater, and you know that there is an official Android app for SkyDrive at apps.live.com?

  • Nater
    147 Posts

    Only have my phone since my PC crapped out. I cannot disable forwarding on my Hotmail since I upgraded to outlook.com cause it redirects so many times that both stock and chrome browsers error out 100% of the time. So now I get to drive 30 minutes to use someones PC so that I can stop getting duplicate email notifications. Worked perfectly before wasting my time with outlook.com. and yes its off topic but its not exactly easy to navigate this site on a 4.5" screen.

    As for sky drive it became useless when I moved back to Android. I only use.one note cause.I'll never have more than 400 notes and they don't have upload limits like Ever note.

  • Thanks for your announcement, this is what I'm looking for. However, when I switch to use Outlook interface, I can't find where the Skydrive link as I use the old version of the hotmail interface.

    Thang

    banxecamry.nhatnghe.org

  • I wish SkyDrive allowed you to choose what folders to sync and not sync everything. The user needs some granular control over what is synched and what is not. It defeats the purpose of using the cloud. I don't need "everything in the cloud" on every computer I own. Especially since newer computers come with limited hard drive space on SSDs, the OS and programs don't leave much for left local storage, even less if your SkyDrive syncs everything from all your devices that use SkyDrive. Hopefully this option will come in an update or the next version in order to be competitive with those mentioned as well as those that were not mentioned like Box and Sugarsync. I love the idea, but the current implementation is lacking in features to be competitive with it's current competitors.

  • The collaboration is still quite pathetic.  You guys have got to be kidding us.

  • No compromises. Check!

    No collaboration. Check mate!

  • joel7
    12 Posts

    I love the new web apps. When will Hotmail get a Metro style overhaul (as well as the SkyDrive UI) for those of us not using Windows 8?

  • I was thinking about having new Office Web Apps since I installed the Office 2013 Preview. Thanks for sharing the link to that preview too! I didn't know it was already out :-P

    Having SkyDrive more integrated in Windows (or totally integrated in) would also be a great move! But I guess that's the place where you're moving ;-)

  • abm
    268 Posts

    @sunnierstudent, hey chill out kid. You almost sounded like a troll. Nonetheless, the updates in hand are obviously stepping forward and we welcome these updates. Hotmail has a separate team. I agree the embed/insert image feature is a cool sounding feature and a LONG overdue. So is the attaching skydrive docs via Hotmail#composeView and attaching email conversations with another email (like we can do in Outlook via drage drop messages in body). Use the proper channel to extend your concern (feedback.live.com or answers.microsoft.com) and with my first hand experience I can tell you that Live team "DO" listen and act on feedback. I can prove it to you its all public on answers.microsoft.com. I submitted several feature requests and bug reports and they are addressed/fixed in the recent iteration of Hotmail.

    @Windows Live Team, for sharing in SkyDrive desktop app, please consider this request for future updates: answers.microsoft.com/.../9c22caca-75b1-4c01-bb00-9cb6947b7315

  • I've tried using Word 2013 as my blogging tool - and I'm here to tell you that it is absolutely DREADFUL in comparison with Windows Live Writer. I suppose that you will shortly be announcing that you will be dropping Windows Live Writer, and that will be a great shame, because WLW runs rings around Word 2013 as a tool for blogging.

    WordPress (and other blogging platforms) need Word 2013 like a fish needs a bicycle.

  • Okay...well I bashed earlier...so you may ask what features...how about you give features such as multiple signatures in Hotmail, inserting pictures in an email body,...some very simple features which can go a long way in making serious email users use Hotmail...it's the serious heavy email users who will bring advertisement money...not the teeny boopers who have 10 hotmail accounts and sent 1 email in 5 days!!!!!

    I can talk about how you all completely ruined Messenger after the Messenger version 10...but I will keep it for next time...!

  • MSFT has on the minimum 500 different blogs worldwide just for their online program. The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. What the heck. I am sure I can do a better job than the morons who are minting money living in their narrow minded world and computer and not knowing what the users want. From being a complete connoisseur of MSFT I am turning into a complete MSFT employees basher. Concentrate on making things simple...and give features!!!! you Morons!

  • You people are wasting a tremendous amount of time and Money of Microsoft in working on SkyDrive and providing illogical updates which a normal user will not even understand. Why don't you get down and bring some updates to Hotmail or Messenger - which will bring money to MSFT via advertisements? You people have entirely ruined the Windows Live. You people have destroyed Messenger and Hotmail beyond recognition. Skydrive is good but keep it simple. Stop giving over-complicated updates. Get user friendly. Morons! I am bloody disappointed with the Morons working on Windlows Live. I come on this blog now every 6 months only and I see the same morons showing their uselessness whereas people at Google and others keep marching ahead with great updates.

  • I really, really like some of the new stuff.

    There are two things that I hope you can still fix before release:

    1) Please, oh please don't call the Sharepoint thing for organizations Skydrive Pro. Don't use the Skydrive brand for that at all. The two products have absolutely nothing to do with each other, they are based on entirely different technologies, they are not linked up to each other whatsoever. Trying to give the impression of some coherence here by slapping the same name on both is a bad move. If you want coherence, integrate the technologies, don't try to pretend these two have something to do with each other via branding. My real worry is this: you guys are FINALLY clearing up the branding mess around skydrive. With Mesh, Foldershare, Live and all that nonsense of the past years, we FINALLY know what skydrive stands for. You are creating a ONE stop location that competes with Dropbox, Google Drive etc. If you now start the usual MS madness to slap that skydrive brand onto anything that superficially looks similiar, but really isn't, you will once again destroy the skydrive brand. Right now sentences like "I have stored this on skydrive", "I have shared this on skydrive with you" are all unambigious. If you use the Skydrive Pro name for the Sharepoint stuff, all of that is gone. Don't do it, please. You guys from the original skydrive group need to fight hard to prevent this destruction of your brand. Call the other thing Sharepoint Drive, easy, simple.

    2) The second thing is something I assume you are working on already in any case, but I'll mention it nevertheless: shared folders really need to show up in the offline skydrive app. Right skydrive really, really sucks on any collaborative setting because of that. It is also the one major area where dropbox and google drive are just clearly better choices at the moment.

    But, all in all, this all looks very, very cool and I think you are moving exactly in the right direction.