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Microsoft will support Android with Office Web Apps

Also working on better real-time collaboration features
Wed May 08 2013, 11:58
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SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Microsoft has said it will enable Android devices to edit documents created on Office Web Apps through the Chrome web browser.

Microsoft's Office Web Apps are the firm's answer to Google Docs, with the company touting the ability to edit documents through a web browser instead of using a Microsoft Office Word or Excel application. Now the firm has said it will offer Android support through Google's Chrome web browser.

Amanda Lefebvre, technical product marketing manager for Office Web Apps at Microsoft said the firm's software as a service productivity suite provides users the ability to use Microsoft Office applications on devices that are not directly supported by Microsoft, typically meaning those devices that do not run its Windows operating system.

She said, "The full power of the Office Web Apps is already available for Windows 8 tablets and iPads and we will be extending the same capabilities to Android tablets via mobile Chrome browser support."

Microsoft also said it will introduce multi-authoring features that it said will allow all authors of a particular file to see who is working on the file and what changes are being made without the need to refresh the web page. The firm said it has already started to roll out this feature to its Powerpoint web app and will bring it to its other web apps in the coming months.

Although Microsoft's decision to support its own Windows operating system first with its Office Web Apps is not surprising given the firm's very limited presence in the mobile market, it was only a matter of time before Microsoft was forced to support Apple's iOS and Google's Android.

The firm's decision to widen support is perhaps the most graphic illustration that it can no longer rely on its expensive Microsoft Office suite to shift Windows licenses. µ


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