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First look at Microsoft Docs for Facebook

A first-hand look at the Facebook integrated Office Web Aps.
By Zack Whittaker, Contributor on
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Logging into Docs is easy with a Facebook account. Docs uses Facebook Connect which acts as an application within the social network.
For more on this story, visit the iGeneration blog posts here and here.
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Interestingly, not only does Docs require access to the users public information, but it can be used to send you email (registered with Facebook), post to the users wall (for sharing documents with friends) but also access posts in the users news feed. These are understandable when using Docs and aren't far-out requests.
For more on this story, visit the iGeneration blog posts here and here.
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When you log in with your Facebook account, your profile name appears at the top and additional options become available - primarily the accessing of Office documents, uploading and editing.
For more on this story, visit the iGeneration blog posts here and here.
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Your friends list will appear on your Docs home screen with those who have the Docs application. Not everyone will have access yet as an invitation code is required. In this example, to protect my friends' and colleagues' privacy, I have demonstrated this with their public Twitter handles.
For more on this story, visit the iGeneration blog posts here and here.
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Creating and editing a Word document in Docs is just as simple as it ever was in the existing SkyDrive implementation of Office Web Apps. Nothing significant has changed, and Docs works in all browsers including Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer.
For more on this story, visit the iGeneration blog posts here and here.
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The main crux of Docs' power is the ability to include and collaborate with your existing, and wider friendship group on Facebook. Seeing as most university students who work together add each other on Facebook, this makes more sense than using other networks such as Windows Live or Live@edu in this instance.
For more on this story, visit the iGeneration blog posts here and here.
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Users can post each other messages which appear alongside the document, to allow users and co-collaborators to keep in touch and explain changes.
For more on this story, visit the iGeneration blog posts here and here.
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Again, most of the important features are available for use in the slimmed down online Office Web Apps range of products.
For more on this story, visit the iGeneration blog posts here and here.
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Viewers allow people to read the document whereas editors are allowed to actively edit and change parts of the document. No clear word on whether version revisions will be included in Docs though.
For more on this story, visit the iGeneration blog posts here and here.
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Facebook is tightly integrated. Depending on the permissions you give to your documents, Docs will publish information on your wall to allow other users to collaborate with you.
For more on this story, visit the iGeneration blog posts here and here.
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To enable mobile working and Twitter integration, shortened URL's are not only possible but included with each document. They are a total of 19-20 characters, adding an alphanumeric unique code to the end of each document.
For more on this story, visit the iGeneration blog posts here and here.
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Uploading documents to Docs is easy. With any browser you can select the files you want - ranging from Open XML formats and .doc and .docx and suchlike.
For more on this story, visit the iGeneration blog posts here and here.
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After uploading your document, you can set your permissions to particular collaborators, friends or leave it to yourself alone to edit.
For more on this story, visit the iGeneration blog posts here and here.
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My Docs is the "My Documents" for Docs. It's a central point for where all your online stored documents come together, and appear in a user directory with a unique number. This, presumably, allows you to share with other users easily for multiple document editing.
For more on this story, visit the iGeneration blog posts here and here.
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Compatibility is excellent between online and offline Office versions. Naturally, this has the upper hand over Google Docs because Microsoft has the secrets to each document and formatting rules.
For more on this story, visit the iGeneration blog posts here and here.
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You can easily download and email off your documents, simply by hitting the Download button in the reading pane.
For more on this story, visit the iGeneration blog posts here and here.
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This is the Excel Web App in Docs, which though is a slimmed down version of Excel 2010, still offers most of the features one would require when editing a spreadsheet.
For more on this story, visit the iGeneration blog posts here and here.
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This is the Excel Web App in Docs, which though is a slimmed down version of PowerPoint 2010, still offers most of the features one would require when editing a presentation.
For more on this story, visit the iGeneration blog posts here and here.
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If you leave Docs open for too long or log in to Docs from a different browser, it asks you to log in again. However, with the Facebook Connect feature, this allows you to simply click the blue button and carry on without needing to enter in a username or password again (though, this depends on your account and privacy settings).
For more on this story, visit the iGeneration blog posts here and here.
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When downloading and opening documents from Docs, you can open them in read-only mode or edit mode...
For more on this story, visit the iGeneration blog posts here and here.
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...once you select your option, Office 2010 will open up automatically (IE8 only at this point, I believe) which lets you edit the document offline, just where you left off.
For more on this story, visit the iGeneration blog posts here and here.
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As you can see in this example, I added a read line of text. As soon as I hit save and close Word 2010 and go back to Docs...
For more on this story, visit the iGeneration blog posts here and here.
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...the updated version appears, and the transition is seamless.
For more on this story, visit the iGeneration blog posts here and here.
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As and when you change your documents in Docs, or other users change the document, it allows you to publish this to your wall and to other users to alert them to the fact.
For more on this story, visit the iGeneration blog posts here and here.
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In Docs, you have a very Windows-esque look about things still. You can arrange your documents by list or thumbnail (which updates live), and allows you to see who can edit and view the document, along with when it was updated and who by.
For more on this story, visit the iGeneration blog posts here and here.

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