Microsoft has lifted the curtain on a new online project which allows Facebook users to access a spin-off from Office Web Apps called Microsoft Docs. Those who use SkyDrive will already be aware of the integrated Windows Live support that Office Web Apps allows, but today announces the Facebook-friendly version.
Suffice to say, with Microsoft sharing a slimmed down, online and free version of the world's most popular office suite, only to network and connect with the world's largest social network, has in effect killed Google Docs. I for one will not be shedding a tear.
At the Facebook f8 conference earlier today, the announcement was made. Though as Mary Jo Foley reports, the "new Facebook feature" that allows Docs to work was not outlined or detailed; though it does allow seamless integration between the two platforms.
Some of the features Docs has includes allowing desktop Office users to create and upload content (presumably through a new Add In for Office) as well as editing within the Docs Office Web App itself. Your Facebook friends will be able to connect with the content you have created through carefully set permissions to co-author, co-edit and collaborate with your existing network.
It's no secret that Microsoft and Facebook have not only common certain interests but recognise each other as a major superpower in the technology and online arena, and by working together it increases the blow on rival companies like Google and Yahoo!.
With Live@edu still taking the university cloud outsourcing target audience by storm, there is little that Google can hold on to, except personal preference which doesn't really count as IT departments rarely act in democratic means. Live@edu will include Office Web Apps in some way or means, increasing productivity by allow student users to edit and change documents from within their email inbox. Though Gmail users can do this now, Google Docs still doesn't have anything close to proper file compatibility because Microsoft - being the developer of .doc and .docx - obviously has the upper hand to begin with.
Seeing as 95% if not more students have a Facebook account, this is going to see productivity rise like we have never seen before.
Maybe Google Docs should admit defeat and call it a day. Microsoft has already 'stolen' its name, the domain name (www.docs.com; I mean, that's a good start, really) and now has Facebook integration. It's unstoppable.
A full demo with screenshots and a review will be published tomorrow.