Through harassing their public relations department, I was given access to Microsoft Docs - which was released yesterday at the Facebook f8 conference - a new sharing and collaboration online office suite which integrates with your Facebook friends.
For the purpose of demonstrating the capabilities of Docs, I used Google Chrome (which works brilliantly, by the way) and Internet Explorer 8 - the latter being used for seamless transition, downloading and editing of documents offline in Office 2010.
- Read more: Office Web Apps in the wild: Screenshots galore!
- Read more: Is Microsoft Docs really a 'Google Docs killer'?
- Read more: Microsoft adapts Office Web Apps for Facebook
- Read more: Has Facebook won the web war against Google?
So far, so good. The very heart and soul of Docs is the Office Web Apps implementation which as I published long ago, is unchanged. The major differentiation between Docs and the Office Web Apps integration into SkyDrive is the ability to co-author, edit and share documents and work with your existing Facebook network.
Some interesting features do show themselves, such as Docs giving Office documents stored online a shortened URL, looking like: http://docs.com/### - where the hashes indicate a unique alphanumeric code.
For now, you can add yourself to the list of names for when the beta opens up a bit further. Anyone (out of the nearly 450 million users) with a Facebook account will be eligible to try out Docs.
Later on tonight, a question and answer interview with Microsoft FUSE Labs head, Lili Cheng, will be published here.