For the past several months I’ve been using Google Docs to share documents related to various projects.
There’s now another option I’m going to try out, from Microsoft, Office Live Workspaces.
For some time Microsoft, has always enabled a shared workspace. However, like most of its other technologies, you would have to have your local Microsoft expert set.
On Monday, Microsoft announced the expansion of Office Live, renamed Office Live Small Business their service offering web site creation and more for small businesses, to include Office Live Workspaces.
This new service, availably by invitation only (but you can request an invitation) is part of Microsoft’s quickly emerging strategy of online services. The plan, for now, is to continue to offer services that compliment its core Microsoft Office Suite.
These hybrid offerings will combine elements of client-based programs with software that runs large servers and new services delivered over the Web. Microsoft plans to deliver these services over the coming months under two key service offerings: Microsoft Live and Microsoft Online. These offerings will span from hosted services, by Microsoft or by a Microsoft partner, to on-premise offerings, delivering software the business customers want, however they want.
Jeff Raikes, President, Microsoft Business Division, said We believe that the future of technology at work will be a combination of local software on client PCs or on-premise servers, along with services available in the “cloud.” Our approach is to give customers the choice, flexibility and power of both software plus services. Think of it as a continuum, ranging from pure software to pure services approaches. Most customers will be somewhere in the middle. Different customers will make different decisions and even customers with similar situations will make different decisions for what they want on-premise and what they want as a service from the cloud.
Up until now, your work with Microsoft has been mainly through its software – Windows and Office. Now, you’ll see a LOT more services from Microsoft, geared to small businesses.