In a press release today, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Office Web Apps will begin a limited number invitation only Technical Preview. Office Web Apps will offer lightweight versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on the web through Windows Live SkyDrive.
Microsoft is also announcing the formal names for the Web-based applications. Together, the applications are called Office Web Apps. Individually, they include Word Web App, Excel Web App, PowerPoint Web App and OneNote Web App.
Microsoft Office Program Manager Michael Shultz takes us through Office Web Apps in a YouTube video:
Brian Hall, Windows Live General Manager, has a post up on Windows Live Wire explaining the importance of Office Web Apps for Windows Live:
We all use a lot of different services online – e-mail, social networks, photo sites, video sites, and so on. In many cases, we use more than one service for very similar purposes, using Facebook, MySpace , StudiVZ, Mixi or many others for social networking; Hotmail, Yahoo!, or Gmail for e-mail; Flickr, SkyDrive, FotoLog, or Photobucket for sharing photos.
That said, there are certain things we really just want one of. I really just want one place for storing contact info, one personal calendar I can share with my family, one primary mail service that also allows me to check all of my e-mail accounts, one place to get updates from all of my social networks, and one place to store, share, and manage my massive and ever-growing collection of photos, documents, music, and videos.
I can get all of that at Windows Live. And now, with the addition of Office Web Apps, I’ll soon be able to go to Windows Live to create, edit, share, and collaborate on Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, OneNote digital notebooks, and Excel spreadsheets – all in high fidelity and all online regardless of which PC I’m using and whether that PC has Office on it.