Monday, November 22, 2010

Google One-Ups Microsoft

I can imagine Steve Ballmer saying "Hmmm a plugin that allows users of Office 2003, 2007 and 2010 to share and edit documents in the cloud. Great idea! Why didn't we think of it?"

Google Plug-In for Office Lets Older Versions Use Cloud

A plug-in for Microsoft Office that lets users share and edit docs collaboratively in the cloud . That new option is currently being tested -- by Google.

In March 2009 Google acquired DocVerse, and the new plug-in, called Google Cloud Connect, incorporates the technology it purchased. When installed, the free plug-in sets up a toolbar in Word , Excel or PowerPoint for Office 2003, 2007 and 2010 .

Productivity's Future 'In the Cloud'

An Office document can be edited by desktop -based Office apps , then uploaded to the author's account in the cloud-based Google Docs. Changes are not made directly online , but within a user's Office apps and then synced between users online. Office 2010 offers its own collaboration , but Google Connect gives that capability to earlier releases of the popular productivity suite.

Cloud Connect tracks all changes, allows users to go back to previous versions, and shows an alert if more than one user is revising the same portion of a given document. The alert allows one of the edits to be chosen above others. Users without Office, such as those on mobile devices, can still view documents, although editing is not enabled.

A potentially big advantage of the plug-in approach is that, instead of importing and exporting Office docs back and forth with Google Docs, which can result in formatting or other issues, the plug-in enables the users to stay within Office.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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