Over the years, Microsoft has stumbled along in its futile attempt to address the issue of campanies fully leveraging cloud computing for their businesses.
Microsoft Office Live was Microsoft’s initial foray into helping businesses leverage their documents online. But the BIG sticking point was that they could not EDIT and really work with documents online. They had to download documents to their computers.
With Microsoft Office 2010 and SkyDrive (25GB of free storage) – Microsoft’s found a great mix – enabling businesses to have the power of Office 2010 (and it is very nice) while enabling them to collaborate and work when they are not using their main computers.
Actually, you can just use SkyDrive and not upgrade to Office 2010. But based on my experience it’s faster and full of more useful features that many will find worth the upgrade.
Today I met with Aaress Lawless, the owner of On the Baseline, a woman’s tennis news site. She explained that prior to Office 2010 and Skydrive she and her team had to email files back and forth to collaborate and edit them. That’s what many of us still do.
However, now, she can continue to use Microsoft Office on her desktop AND online (collaboration and editing documents).
Aaress has tried both Google Apps / Docs and Open Office in her attempt to collaborate, but didn’t think they met her needs quite right.