Office Web apps to be iPhone-friendly

Microsoft's Office Web applications, announced late last month at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference, will work on "multiple platforms" including Apple's iPhone, according to a Microsoft blog.


Lightweight versions of Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint and Word will be accessible by supported Web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari, according to the blog. The iPhone uses MobileSafari, a version of Apple's Web browser.


Safari support apparently is a new development. A FAQ on the Microsoft Office Live Workspace Web site just lists Internet Explorer and Firefox as the only compatible browsers. The browser won't have to use Microsoft's Silverlight to run the Office Web applications, the blog explains.


Users won't be restricted to Windows or Mac OS X operating systems. They can use Linux, as long as the browser is supported, according to the blog.


A Live ID will be needed to use Office Web applications. In order to collaborate and exchange document files over the Internet, users will need an Office Live Workspace account. The Workspace is just a storage place on the Internet -- it doesn't let you edit documents unless you have the associated Microsoft Office application located on your PC, Mac or device.


A second option for sharing documents in real time over the Internet is Microsoft SharedView, which is integrated with Office Live Workspace, according to the blog.


Microsoft is still figuring out how to price Office Web applications. Business customers can use them via subscription or "existing volume licensing agreements," the blog states. Consumers may get them via subscription or an ad-funded model through Office Live. Universities will get access to Office Web applications for free using the Live@edu service.


A "limited technical preview" of Office Web applications will be conducted this fall, according to Chris Bryant, group product manager for Microsoft Office. Bryant announced Office Web applications on Day 2 at the PDC, as shown in this video snippet.


About the Author

Kurt Mackie is the online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group sites, including Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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