Office 2.0: a digital revolution for students worldwide

Office 2.0: a digital revolution for students worldwide

Summary: With hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people using Google Apps and Zoho, two of the main cloud office suites on the web, Microsoft once again sees an opportunity to slam it's iron fist onto the web in hope of crushing the same competitors as before.With Windows 7 on the way, from the people I've spoken to, students just don't seem that phased by it.

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Click for larger imageWith hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people using Google Apps and Zoho, two of the main cloud office suites on the web, Microsoft once again sees an opportunity to slam it's iron fist onto the web in hope of crushing the same competitors as before.

With Windows 7 on the way, from the people I've spoken to, students just don't seem that phased by it. Most geeks seem to think it'll just be "another Vista-like disaster" whilst I've got high hopes for it. As all this is going on, Office 14, the next version of Microsoft's office suite, has been showcased at the PDC last month. Again, something people aren't too fussed with as people are only just adopting Office 2007 because their previous licences have expired.

~520MBThe key difference in this future version, is instead of another desktop application to install, like Groove which was part of Office 2007, the cloud will be calling; offering a web version of the Office 14 suite. It's all over the web; you couldn't have missed it.

(By the way, the gap between Office 12 and Office 14 is intentional; Microsoft are a superstitious bunch of idiots.)

Office Live Workspaces has already made some suspicious of a web-version of Office (Foley, 2008, pp. 117), but the reality is that it'll happen. Let's face it, Office Live Workspaces is crap; my hopes for an online Office reach and exceed the expectations those had and still have for Workspaces.

Nobody knows how it'll be priced yet; whether it'll be part of the cost of the new Office suite, or whether it'll be free for everyone and be a competitor to Google Apps and Zoho. It'll certainly make life easier for us mere mortal students when we're burning the midnight oil to try and squeeze every last sap of knowledge into our essays.

Update 1: that evil genius, Chris Dawson, gives his take on Google Apps being the "killer feature" for academia and education. He makes a bloody good point, mind you.

Click here to see the screenshot gallery

Update 2: Just stumbled (and stubbed my toe) upon a video. Office Live Workspaces looks to continue, but integrate the "Office Web application", which renders entirely in Silverlight. There's cross compatibility with Firefox as well as Internet Explorer. It'll also be available to business through the "traditional" volume licensing channels. It'll also be available as a limited CTP later on in this or next month. [source: Chris Bryant, GPM Office].

[poll id=8]

Topics: Software, Collaboration, Microsoft

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7 comments
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  • I choose option 5

    "I rarely use software that isn't run locally, and if Office 14 is cloud-only, I'm not going there."

    First, don't get me wrong - I've got nothing against using Cloud Computing, but I don't trust my Internet connection enough to rely on it. If I can't access my data because either their service is down, or my web access is down, then all of my work is inaccessible to me. If the company I'm using changes its ToS to something I don't agree to, are they going to wipe my data? It happened to these people:
    http://www.shozam.com/overview/downside-of-photo-storage-sites.htm

    My data belongs somewhere I can control. While I have used Acrobat.com for group projects in college (and have found it wonderful in that context), my data will never be stored in "the cloud" under someone else's control. Period. If it means sticking with Office 2007 or moving to Openoffice or AbiSuite, then so be it.

    Joey
    voyager529
  • RE: Office 2.0: a digital revolution for students worldwide

    It'll of course be offline as well. Microsoft can't afford to offer <i>just</i> a free cloud version of Office.
    zwhittaker
  • I am completely fazed by...

    the thought that "With Windows 7 on the way, from the people I've spoken to, students just don't seem that phased by it."

    I've never thought it possible that students could be synchronized anyway, and why the forthcoming release of Windows 7 should achieve this is beyond my comprehension.

    Of course I don't understand why writers rely on spell-check as a substitute for proof-reading either......
    aldux
  • RE: Office 2.0: a digital revolution for students worldwide

    Students? I teach in a university and few if any of my students have ever payd for a program. Open Office? No. Open Torrents!
    mark16_15@...
  • RE: Office 2.0: a digital revolution for students worldwide

    Students? I teach in a university and few if any of my students have ever paid for a program. Open Office? No. Open Torrents!
    mark16_15@...
  • RE: Office 2.0: a digital revolution for students worldwide

    I hope you don't teach spelling, (or typing.)
    hagar85
  • RE: Office 2.0: a digital revolution for students worldwide

    Je parle fran?ais, et j'ai compris votre article (and "Sacrebleu" is written as a single word - no gap. You may also want to check that "peut/peux" mistake: "pouvoir" ends with an "x" at present of indicative tense, first person).

    I won't store my documents on the cloud; I'll have an up-to-date working copy "up there", but there's no way I'm leaving it there. I also am a power user - you'll thus understand why I have OpeOffice.org 3 installed on all of my machines.

    It's actually quite fast when compiled in 64-bit on a GNU/Linux machine. And it works quite nicely off-line, too.
    Mitch 74