It’s Official: Office Live Workspace is upgrading to Windows Live SkyDrive

By Harrison Hoffman | Posted May 14, 2010 10 comments

Office logoIf you’ve been a regular follower of LiveSide, this is probably not big news to you, as we’ve been reporting since late last year that Windows Live Office, based on SkyDrive, is going to replace Office Live Workspace. However, for the first time, Microsoft is officially announcing the news, with a new blogpost on the Office Live Workspace blog:

Your Office Live Workspace account will soon be upgraded to become a Windows Live SkyDrive account.

In an effort to improve and simplify the customer experience for our Live services, we’ve made the decision to integrate Office Live Workspace with Windows Live SkyDrive into one set of services.

We think it is the right move, and will result in a simpler, richer, better online experience for you, the customer.

When we upgrade Office Live Workspace user accounts to SkyDrive, you will get many of the same capabilities you get today in Office Live Workspace — with some exciting new features such as the Office Web Apps. Office Web Apps are online companions to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote that allow you to view and edit Office documents directly within a Web browser.

In addition, Windows Live SkyDrive provides up to 25 GB of storage space, easy-to-maintain contact lists and calendars, and groups which let you easily set up and share team or group calendars and announcements with people you select.

If you’re worried about what would happen to your existing documents stored on Office Live Workspace, don’t worry, as Microsoft announced that it will automatically be migrated to SkyDrive:

In the coming months, we will notify customers when this new experience is available in their market and give them the opportunity to opt in when it is convenient for them to do so. To opt in, customers will be invited to click a button within their Office Live Workspace indicating that they would like to initiate the upgrade.  The process of moving all documents, lists and notes, and sharing permissions will be automated.

Eventually, customers that do not take advantage of the opt-in period will be moved automatically to Windows Live SkyDrive and will be notified by several e-mails before and after the move. 

Until then, you can continue to use Office Live Workspace to store and share documents just as you do today. If you’d like more information about this upgrade, visit our Upgrade Center right here in the Office Live Workspace community.

The recent business launch event for Office 2010 announced that Office Web Apps will start rolling out to SkyDrive customers on June 15. We’ve also received hints that Windows Live web services will begin upgrading from early June. Surely we should be getting our hands on Wave 4 bits around then?

Oh and did you know that Office Live Workspace never graduated from its “beta” status since its inception in 2007?

You can check out the FAQ about this upcoming upgrade here: Common Questions about the Office Live Workspace upgrade to SkyDrive

Edit: For Office Live Small Business customers, don’t worry, your Office Live Small Business account and Web site will not be affected by the upgrade of Office Live Workspace to Windows Live SkyDrive.

Posted May 14th, 2010 at 1:33 pm
  • Greg Edwards

    I think this is the right move for OLW. SkyDrive integration, Office Web Apps, and a consistent UI is sorely needed. But now I have to wonder, what’s going to happen to Office Live Small Business and the community of websites that have been built on that platform? Are those going to become part of Windows Live as well?

    • Damaster –

      Office Live Small Business will not be affected.

  • JohnCz

    I imagine they will be converting Lists into Excel spreadsheets. Glad to hear OLSB will not be negatively impacted…though I am curious where they plan to go with OLSB. It would be great if they made MS Access Services more widely available.

    • Damaster –

      You’re right JohnCz, an official Microsoft spokesperson said this: “All of the data in your lists will be retained. Lists will become Excel files in SkyDrive, which you’ll then be able to edit right inside the browser using the Excel Web App.”

    • bizarre

      Interesting. But does that mean you will no longer be able to connect to Outlook for contacts, tasks, and calendar? Those doctypes will just appear as a spreadsheet?

  • anonymous

    Currently we have addins for Office 2003 and 2007 to open from and save to OLW. Will these addins work with SkyDrive/Web Apps? Office 2010 has built-in SkyDrive support so will Microsoft bother now updating the addins to work with SkyDrive? Especially Office 2003 whose support might get dropped like Windows XP?

    • JohnCz

      Per their blog, OLWorkspace add-in will no longer work. However, you should be able to use Sync (wave 4) with Live SkyDrive to effectively do the same thing. Its just not as direct as going through Office 2010 Backstage menu.

  • Joe

    What is going happen with Office Live Small Business.

    • JohnCz

      Re:OLSB, nothing is changing with this announcement. This only impacts the Office Live Workspace BETA.

    • bizarre

      If Microsoft does keep OLSB around, it will eventually move the underlying WSS3 to Shareopint 2010 Foundation. This move may coincide with the upgrade for BPOS, expected to be done at the start of 2011.