Its Official, part two: Office Web Apps is now Office Online

By Kip Kniskern | Posted February 20, 2014 12 comments

Yesterday marked the much anticipated rebrand of SkyDrive to OneDrive, but in a companion move, Microsoft also announced that Office Web Apps is now “Office Online”. Of course, if you’ve been reading LiveSide, you already knew the change was coming, as we spotted the new name back in January.

While the change hasn’t yet been made here on Outlook.com, once you open up a document in Office Online through your OneDrive account (by clicking on the now defunct SkyDrive icon in Outlook.com) and click on the OneDrive dropdown in the upper left corner, you’ll see the new Office Online icons:

office online To make things easier, Microsoft has also introduced a new website, Office.com, where you can quickly open any of the Office Online “web apps”:

office dot com

Microsoft is also introducing a number of new templates to Office Online documents, making it easier to use the web interface to create professional looking documents “on the go”:

Not only are we making it easier to find, share and collaborate using Office Online, we’re making it easier to create great looking documents. The new online experience includes hundreds of Word, PowerPoint and Excel templates so you can go from nothing to something with just a click. Budgets, resumes, calendars and more, all available online, for free at Office.com.

The name change comes as part of a continuing (some might say never-ending) rebranding effort at Microsoft, and to make the online versions of Office products less confusing, and to make them easier to find:

Today we are making two changes. First, we’re renaming Office Web Apps to Office Online so you know where to find our free online experience. We heard from customers that the inclusion of Apps in our name was confusing. Are they something I install? Do I go to an app store to get them? No, to use them all you need is a web browser. Ah! You say. So it’s like Office, online. Yes, exactly. Office Online.

Secondly, a lot of you don’t know that we have an online version of Office because you just couldn’t find it. If you’re already using Office Online on OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) or on SharePoint at work, great. We’re glad you found it there. You can still use Office Online just like you always have. But we’re making it easier to find for the rest of you by introducing Office.com, a discoverable and shareable web page so that you can start using Office Online right away.

No word as yet on any changes to the Outlook.com “app switcher”, but hopefully that change is coming soon, too.

Posted February 20th, 2014 at 11:02 am
  • eternaloptimist1971

    So once again Microsoft has done things half-assed with the roll out of OneDrive. Windows 8.1 still has the previous SkyDrive app, despite Android and iOS already having the new version. Go to the Windows.com site and visitors are still referred to the SkyDrive page and you still see the SkyDrive icon in Outlook.com

    This is almost as bad as still see the “Send to Windows Live Mail” link when right clicking in Internet Explorer.

    Gratz once again Microsoft on showing the world how inept a large company can be when it comes to product release

    • Windows Phone Bruker

      They are a large company, and as a large company they have many products. We do know that OneDrive is totally renamed with update 1 for Windows 8.1, in Windows 8.1 it does say SkyDrive a lot of places but when looking at the folder from my user folder (C:Usersuser) it does say OneDrive not SkyDrive. Comparing an app update for Android and iOS to a system wide update for Windows 8.1 is just nonsense, you should compare it to Windows Phone, and just think that OneDrive was released YESTERDAY(!), the app for Windows Phone was updated right away, I got the app update before I read the blog post.

      Why do you care that one day after the update you still see the SkyDrive name? It’s just a name. The real benefit comes from the OneDrive phone apps and website. I don’t care if I have to wait a little while for a update to Windows 8.1 (system updates usually only comes the second Tuesday of the month) I got my 3GB extra space for updating to the OneDrive app on Windows Phone, since the website got updated I now have 1GB extra thanks to referrals and as a promotion I have 100GB extra for one year. To me having 129GB of OneDrive storage (29GB permanent) is much more important than having to wait a little while for what is only a name change.

      Just be patient and wait for the name change to roll out to all their different products, in the mean time you can enjoy your 8GB extra (permanent) storage.

      • eternaloptimist1971

        Because people with Microsoft products should be the first, not the last, that’s why! Windows 8.1 is their current OS, so why the heck should I have to wait for the spring 2014 Win8.1 update before seeing the change. That’s simply rationalizing a long standing problem that’s been classic Microsoft Windows. I mean c’mon. How long has Windows Live Mail been defunct and yet is still listed in the IE11 right click options?
        If a company wants to bill itself as one unified OS it needs to stop doing things piece mail

      • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

        How do you get the camera roll bonus?

        • Windows Phone Bruker

          As a Windows Phone user I had the auto-upload enabled before, the only thing I did on my phone (and for a family member) was to install the OneDrive app and open it (log in if not already), and I got 3GB extra.

          • chinch987

            same here +3GB permanently (28 tot) +100GB for one year also a surprise but unneeded bonus!

    • JimmineyCricky

      If you didn’t know, they have been rolling out changes to the name all day yesterday and today. You can’t just flip a switch and everything changes. They have been rolling out the changes fairly quickly:
      – All mobile apps have been updated (the Windows 8.1 app and built-in Windows 8.1 SkyDrive functionality will probably get renamed very soon)
      – All support articles have been updated on Office.com
      – Even Windows Essentials (i.e. Movie Maker + Picture Gallery – which many people thought was forgotten) just got updated with the OneDrive name!
      – All social media outlets got updated
      – Etc.

      It’s a timely process, so calm yourself down. It’s just launched and it’s not a showstopper if it a few instances are left in a few places. Read their blog gosh.

  • cmwind

    Seriously. If they want to make it more discoverable please make it available through the Outlook.com app switcher

    • JimmineyCricky

      They will… it just hasn’t rolled out yet.

  • Joscelin Trouwborst

    With a little more pepper Microsoft might get up to speed finally :-)
    Instead of their Windows and Office focus in their promotions, I feel they should focus on their cloud services, accessible by Windows, Android and iOS apps, as well as by any major web browser.
    Have Windows 8.x standard with tiles on Start to access Office Online, which are replaced by the app tiles if Office is installed.

    • JimmineyCricky

      It’s an Office Start Screen… love it :D

  • JimmineyCricky

    Love the new look of the web apps (with the logos on top) – they feel like actual apps now. I hope they update OWA to Outlook Online with the similar look and feel.

    Also love the new office.com! It’s beautiful! Really well done Office team :D
    I hope they update all the subpages with a similar look and feel as well.