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

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.