Thursday, September 04, 2008

Microsoft Office Live Workspace Hits One Million Users

Microsoft's Office Live Workspace, which opened to public beta in March, has hit its one millionth user. Although labeled by some as Microsoft's answer to Google Docs, it's not really. Although the web portion of the site has a rudimentary viewer, if you want to edit any documents, you need to have a standalone version of Office installed on your PC.

To be honest, in that way, Office Live Workspace is more like Sharepoint than Google Docs.

And to really use the application, you have to add an add-in to your version of Office.

In the press release announcing their milestone, Kirk Gregersen, director of consumer and small-business product management for Microsoft Office said:
"The pace at which people are signing up for the beta tells us that they are looking for ways to resolve the complexities of their work, school and home projects through a range of choices. It takes companies years to attract a strong customer base such as this. We’re excited about Office Live Workspace growth and innovation yet to come."
While I do feel it's lame that Office Live Workspace requires users to have Office installed on their PCs, there's one thing I can count on: compatibility. Some of the things I want to do in say, a Google Doc spreadsheet, simply aren't supported: certain formulas or functionality.

Now, if Google Docs was 100% compatible with Office, I'd be on it in a second. But it's not. It's pretty close, but not there all the way.

Interestingly, Microsoft found that users aren't simply using Office Live Workspace to access files remotely; they're using the service collaboratively, which surprised the company.

As far as a final version of Office Live Workspace, it's expected in 2008. But Gregersen noted that while Office Live Workspace currently supports 11 languages, Office supports 37, and Microsoft wants to get closer to that number before releasing the product.

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