I can see this being pretty useful for those on the go who need to access their documents frequently or those who simply can't afford to spend hundreds of dollars on Office. It's also nice that Microsoft gave us 25GB of free storage, not bad.
I'm impressed. It seems to function more or less with Firefox on Ubuntu Linux 9.10 (Karmic Koala). I didn't try to break it but the basics seem to work. Word Web App text effects and styles work. With Excel Web App there's no conditional formatting and I couldn't paste table data from OOo directly into the sheet but could dump it into a single cell using the formula box. It did paste as a text dump into Word Web App more or less as I expected. Powerpoint Web App is minimal but functional. I created a simple two-slide demo with a title page and a second page with an image and hyperlink. The view mode popped up a window but the default size was too small for the slide (easy to fix). OneNote Web App works but I've never used the native version so I can't compare. Text effects like background/foreground color functions and so does the spelling checker.
I couldn't use the "open in native application" function as it seems to require some malware development plug-in called an "ActiveX control" and insist on specific application suites and legacy OSes. A Greasemonkey script could fix that. Overall it's a good start. Don't know how it compares to Google Docs as I haven't used either much. Other than some advertisements on the main page (had to turn AdBlock off to see them) and a lot of Silverlight pushing it seems good enough for viewing/editing Office files.
[citation][nom]glycerin[/nom]what about security? can MS see what your typing/writing/copying/pasting>?[/citation]
Probably not. But there's no need, they've got full access to the complete documents once you save them.
"The latter is somewhat surprising given that Google and Microsoft seem to be at odds, and that Office Web Apps is in direct response to Google's own online office tools, Google Docs. "
Microsoft tries to make sure everybody uses their Office instead of Google Docs.
"Why are they using the old software? Hardware compatibility issues possibility, maybe a resistance to change. Nevertheless there's a tool to convert *.docx to *.doc, however it's somewhat of a hassle."
Kevin, do not speculate on things in which you know so little about. Your ignorance is showing.
I think this looks promising. Accept that google had it for couple of years. But it was never that good to work on! For a person who's so used to the Microsoft office products, this is the best bet, I would say, even though the features are a lot cut down.
Open office and google docs used to serve the purpose. But from the first look, I'd be more comfortable in this one, because it gets me the same look and feel as the standalone application. And its pretty sleek and fast too...
I hate it; I did not choose Word WebApp yet when I send documents to myself through my email, they open in the WebApp program, but change the formatting of my documents. When I try to access the documents, I get a blank screen. How do I get rid of this program?