Microsoft Offers Doc Editing and Sharing in Facebook
Two unlikely playmates have teamed up to bring a new free productivity service to the cloud. The partners: Microsoft and Facebook. The service: Microsoft Office document creation.
Microsoft and Facebook announced Docs.com today during Facebook's F8 conference in San Francisco. The site is officially open for beta testing now and allows Facebook users to create, edit and share Microsoft Office documents with their Facebook friends. Users can log in through Facebook Connect, the service that lets them stay logged into Facebook while on other sites, and see and edit those documents.
New documents from other users will also show up in a user's news feed, similar to the way friends' updates do.
While Docs.com is tailored specifically for Facebook, the similarities to Google Docs made by Microsoft's search rival are clear. It allows group editing of documents that are stored in the cloud. It may not be a free service to all, but given the sheer number of people who have Facebook accounts, it might seem that way. And Google Docs requires a Gmail account to access, anway.
Docs.com is separate from the online version of Office Microsoft is planning to launch later this year, though the Office Web apps will have many similar document editing and sharing features. However, Docs.com does allow Microsoft to test the waters before the Office online version launches.
The move is also a huge one for Facebook. The company made it clear during the F8 Conference that it plans to keep expanding into other aspects of daily life, not just the social aspect , so adding functionality with the most widely used productivity suite is a large step in that direction. It also makes Facebook a more viable tool for business and networking purposes.
Because Docs.com is still in beta, the number of people who can sign up is limited. Interested Facebook users can sign up for the waiting list on the Docs.com home page. Microsoft and Facebook will gradually roll out the service to those who sign up.
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