Adios, Office Web Apps. Hello, Office Online.
On Thursday, Microsoft announced it would do away with the old Office Web App moniker, and introduce Office Online, a rejiggered version of its browser-based software suite. The new office includes a range of Word, PowerPoint and Excel templates – "so you can go from nothing to something with just a click," Microsoft says – and the ability to collaborate in real time on shared documents.
But the most significant change may be the name.
"We heard from customers that the inclusion of Apps in our name was confusing," Microsoft's Amanda Lefebvre wrote in a post on the official Office blog. "Are they something I install? Do I go to an app store to get them? No, to use them all you need is a web browser. Ah! You say. So it’s like Office, online. Yes, exactly. Office Online."
Newbies can check out the various options at this landing page; a premium membership, for instance, will set you back $10 a month, while basic Office Online access is free (although there's a cap on storage, and you can't access any of your documents when you're offline).
In other Microsoft rebranding/reshuffling news, yesterday the Washington company officially introduced the cloud storage platform OneDrive, which replaces SkyDrive, a moniker Microsoft was forced to retire in the wake of a recent trademark case. "Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to get all of your favorite stuff in one place – one place that is accessible via all of the devices you use every day, at home and at work," Microsoft exec Chris Jones said.