Microsoft is getting ready for next version of Office Web Apps preview for SkyDrive

By damaster | Posted March 18, 2012 21 comments

Microsoft Office Web AppsOffice 15 had been a hot topic recently in the press, with a series of screenshots leaked from the Office 15 technical preview. As part of the Office productivity suite, there is also a cloud-counterpart called Office Web Apps, which is expected to be updated along with Office 15. LiveSide recently learnt that Microsoft is currently preparing a Office Web Apps preview program, in which users will be able to opt-in and use the “newest features” when they create, view or edit an Office document in SkyDrive and Hotmail:

Office Web Apps Preview

We’ve previously reported that Office Web Apps on SkyDrive will soon support OpenDocument Formats (.odt, .odp, .ods) in addition to Microsoft Office’s Open XML formats (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx). However, nothing has been officially confirmed by Microsoft. But according to The Verge, Microsoft is also currently readying a Office web extensions platform called “Agaves”. Web developers will be able to create an area within Office applications that lets webpages interact with documents and augment content with extra features. It is said that “Agaves” will work with Office applications such as Excel, Word, Outlook and Project, as well as Excel and Outlook Web Apps. Below is an excerpt from The Verge:

The software giant is creating three different ways that “Agaves” can be integrated into Office applications – Task Pane, Content, and Contextual:

  • Task Pane Agaves will enable Office users to see an extension side-by-side with an Office document, allowing users to look up information from a web service based on a product name highlighted in a document.
  • Content Agaves will allow webpages to become part of a document as embedded content that can be shown in line with documents. Developers could use this functionality to integrate a YouTube video clip or a picture gallery.
  • Contextual Agaves will work on the Outlook side of Office and allow developers to display content with a particular mail or calendar item.

Developers can use technologies like HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and REST to build “Agaves”, and Microsoft is encouraging developers to use Metro style in their implementations, focusing on content, typography, and touch usage. Microsoft is expected to surface “Agaves” in Office Marketplace later this year, where developers can publish and sell their custom Office extensions.

We expect the new Office Web Apps preview should come around the Office 15 public beta timeframe, which is said to be “later this summer”. What are some of the features or improvements that you’d like to see in the next major update of Office Web Apps? Let us know in the comments below!

Posted March 18th, 2012 at 2:16 am
  • Tuxplorer

    I would like to see a web-based PDF-viewer. And obviously a few more options in all the apps. But still, it’s WAY better than Google Docs as it is.

  • Tuxplorer

    I would like to see a web-based PDF-viewer. And obviously a few more options in all the apps. But still, it’s WAY better than Google Docs as it is.

  • Harsh

    the web based PDF viewer is available but only on sky drive and  not in hotmail (which is strange) hope they make it available for the hotmail too….

    • http://revanmj.pl/ Michał Jakubowski

      It’s not web-based PDF viewer because it requires Adobe plugin to work.

  • Harsh

    the web based PDF viewer is available but only on sky drive and  not in hotmail (which is strange) hope they make it available for the hotmail too….

    • http://revanmj.pl/ Michał Jakubowski

      It’s not web-based PDF viewer because it requires Adobe plugin to work.

  • http://alexsimkin.tumblr.com/ Alex Simkin

    Co-authoring in PowerPoint at the same time (like in Word). If it is there at the moment, it doesn’t work for me… (I’ve shared a PowerPoint on SkyDrive with one of my Windows Live – sorry, Microsoft – accounts and I couldn’t edit it at the same time). I’d also like to be able to at least see Publisher (and Access) docs on SkyDrive. I’m not asking for editing tools, just the ability to see the docs.

  • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

    Co-authoring in PowerPoint at the same time (like in Word). If it is there at the moment, it doesn’t work for me… (I’ve shared a PowerPoint on SkyDrive with one of my Windows Live – sorry, Microsoft – accounts and I couldn’t edit it at the same time). I’d also like to be able to at least see Publisher (and Access) docs on SkyDrive. I’m not asking for editing tools, just the ability to see the docs.

  • http://kollagenintensivantiagingcreamreview.posterous.com/kollagen-intensiv-anti-aging-cream-review-doe Kollagen Intensiv

    Now that Microsoft Myphone is done, Skydrive is
    supposed to be taking over. Is there an app for my phone that will sync
    with an online account like Myphone did?

    • B_Sack

      Its coming to windows phone later this year, likely with Apollo & Windows 8 release.

  • http://kollagenintensivantiagingcreamreview.posterous.com/kollagen-intensiv-anti-aging-cream-review-doe Kollagen Intensiv

    Now that Microsoft Myphone is done, Skydrive is
    supposed to be taking over. Is there an app for my phone that will sync
    with an online account like Myphone did?

    • B_Sack

      Its coming to windows phone later this year, likely with Apollo & Windows 8 release.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SCZ2VTTVJKJK76IO4UFFRREMFM Asadil

    great news for all users :)
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    Online e cigarette

  • http://www.facebook.com/Antoniolopez Antonio Lopez Reyes

    Page breaks and sections breaks in Word.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Antoniolopez Antonio Lopez Reyes

    Page breaks and sections breaks in Word.

  • wasapasserby

    Better version history with multiple authors, and better editing with simultaneous authors.

  • wasapasserby

    Better version history with multiple authors, and better editing with simultaneous authors.

  • cmwind

    all of skydrive (that means Hotmail services too) needs a UI revamp to bring it inline with metro. Also I would love to see free versions of Office Web Apps as full screen Metro Apps for Windows 8… and while i’m complaining I have to say that I hate wanting to change a setting or edit information about a contact in an app like the People app in Win8 and I get bounced to the web to edit it there… just let me edit it in the app and then sync the info back to the web later?!?

  • cmwind

    all of skydrive (that means Hotmail services too) needs a UI revamp to bring it inline with metro. Also I would love to see free versions of Office Web Apps as full screen Metro Apps for Windows 8… and while i’m complaining I have to say that I hate wanting to change a setting or edit information about a contact in an app like the People app in Win8 and I get bounced to the web to edit it there… just let me edit it in the app and then sync the info back to the web later?!?

  • Ray Wall

    1. Columns (not the funky way it is now) in the Word Web App.
    2. Row freezes in the Excel Web App so I can always see headings as I scroll down.

  • Ray Wall

    1. Columns (not the funky way it is now) in the Word Web App.
    2. Row freezes in the Excel Web App so I can always see headings as I scroll down.