Our first look at Office Live Workspaces

By Kip Kniskern | In News | Posted December 14, 2007 5 comments

Well it took a few days, and I actually got an email saying it would be a few more, and hey watch this video while you’re waiting, but then an invite was waiting for me in another account this evening.  I had already installed the Office Live Workspaces plug-in to Office 2007, so signing up was a simple matter of logging in via the plug-in and signing up for Office Live, which only took a few clicks.  After that, preparing the workspace only took less than a minute, and I was in:

(click on the pictures for larger views)

officelivewelcome officeliveworkspace1

I added a file from the web interface, which was seamless and quick, but then after logging out, opening Office Live Workspaces from within Word took quite a while, I counted 12 seconds before I saw a file list:

officeliveworkspacesdocs

Of course this is still extremely early in the beta, with less than a full complement of server allocation, so performance should get better.

Within Office Live Workspaces, you can work with either documents, sharing them using the Microsoft SharedView beta, or with workspaces.  Clicking on New Workspace gives you quite a list (which I pasted together for this illustration):

officeliveworkspacelistALL officeliveevent

As you can see, creating a new workspace generates a series of documents, ready to be customized for whatever particular project you have in mind.

Aside from some fairly serious performance issues, notably lacking in this early release is a link from within Word to open the web interface for Office Live Workspaces.  you can open a document, but don’t seem to be able to navigate to the website from within Office, which seems almost a necessary feature.  In fact, getting to the Workspace at all seems to be a little tricky – it’s at http://workspace.office.live.com/, or http://home.officelive.com and then clicking on Workspaces down on the lower left.  This was not as intuitive as it could be, especially with no quick link from within the Office apps.

We’ve just taken a quick look around, and will have more on Office Live Workspaces as we become more familiar with it.  At first glance, the web interface is much more polished than the interaction between Office on the desktop and Office Live Workspaces, but it is a beta, after all.

Posted December 14th, 2007 at 3:35 pm
  • rrutledge

    I’m able to navigate to the website from within Office. My Office Live toolbar has the text, “Go to Office Live”. If I click on that text it opens my browser to my workspace.

  • Firedog
  • Kip Kniskern

    Thanks for the comments. The Office Live Toolbar is available for Office 2003, but in Office 2007 (installed here) “Open from Office Live” and “Save to Office Live” are incorporated in the File menu, without a “Go to Office Live” option.
    I’m installing the Vista update, we’ll see what happens.

  • WyzyrdMyrrlyn

    i just wish my workspace was opened…still waiting for email msft…

  • jnf6

    Hi

    my account was activated a while ago. I already tried it but I stopped in the middle as I noticed the following, and please correct me if I am wrong. The point of having such an app is to be able to use, open, edit, save a word document without the need of desktop Office suite. Say for example that you are using it from an internet cafe or another pc. Especially one that you do not have admin privileges.

    But, from what I saw, this is not the case. When you first login you are asked to install a “plugin”!!! And YOU NEED admin rights!!!

    If you do not have the plugin installed then you cannot even open the document and ofcourse edit it!! So FOR now, this is not any good to me, since I would like to have a stand alone web app, to be able to create, save, edit a document. Can we have this? Is it scheduled for the future versions?

    and please do not forget that when in public PCs, usually a user does not have Admin rights. So no posibility to install any files (.msi)

    Would like to hear from you also.

    jnf6