At the F8 Conference today, Microsoft FUSE Labs Director Lili Cheng announced the release of Docs, which uses Office Web Apps to allow sharing of Office Documents among Facebook Friends.
In a blog post on the Docs site, Cheng describes the Docs vision:
The fact that we’ve been able to adapt the Office 2010 “Web Apps” technology to work directly with Facebook truly speaks to the flexibility and power not just of the Facebook platform, but also of the Office system’s rich “contextual collaboration” capabilities. And we’d never have been able to achieve our critical ‘simplicity’ goals had it not been for our ability to use a new test feature from Facebook that allows us to build an instantly personalized and seamless document authorization & sharing experience directly from our site.
This exploration exposes yet another facet of Ray Ozzie’s broad and long-held vision of social productivity. Although quite simple (and fun!), docs.com integrated with the Facebook experience bring together the best of ‘software’ with the best of ‘services’. Documents can be created directly within the app, or can be uploaded from your PC. After starting work on a document alone, you might then choose a few others with whom to share it. Or you might instead share it with all your friends, or you might share it with the world. Documents can be viewed and edited directly within a web browser – or, with a single click, you can edit them more richly and powerfully through the Microsoft Office software on your PC or Mac.
…and here’s a Getting Started video, also from the (WordPress!!) site:
Where Docs fits in with the soon to be released Wave 4 updates to Office Web Apps, along with a number of other questions, remains to be seen.