This morning in a Press Release Microsoft announced it’s official response to Google Apps by making available Office On the Web – AKA Microsoft Office Web Apps.
Granted, today’s announcement is only the start of the Technical Preview however it’s the first step with getting Microsoft Office online and in the cloud.
So following the link to the “Sign-Up” page I was quickly disappointed to find that all spots in the Technical Preview had been filled. Microsoft did provide a link to Sign-Up for early notification regarding the Office 2010 / Office Web Apps Beta however after a bit of tinkering I discovered there’s an easy way to get into the Technical Preview ANYWAY!
How-To Gain Access to the Microsoft Office Web Apps Technical Preview using Windows Live Sky-Drive
1. Login to your Windows Live Account and Open skyDrive.live.com in your Browser. Click Document once logged in.
2. Click Add Files
3. Drag and Drop a few Excel Files into the Upload Screen (I used Excel in my Test) and Click Upload
4. Click Join our preview program link as shown in the screen shot below
5. Read the Terms of Service and Click Accept
6. That’s it! You should be in!
7. To Create a new document, Click New
Note: As of Today – Only PowerPoint and Excel Services will allow you to create a new documents
I have no idea how long this workaround will be available. For all I know this could either be a MISS by Microsoft or by design to allow more people to join the Technical Preview. Either way, I recommend you move quickly to reserve you spot and get it enabled on your Windows Live account!
I would love to hear your feedback! Did you get in? What do you think of Office in the cloud? Is it working?