For this latest round of updates, Micorsoft focused on adding editing and formatting controls, consistent co-authoring/collaboration support across the
web apps and expanded device support, including touch-enabled editing from tablets. Across the apps, there’s also a clean new look and feel, informed by
the updated design language you’re seeing from across Microsoft.
In Word Web App, get new support for viewing and adding comments. You’ll also see graphics, images, and layout with excellent fidelity.
Format and design documents right from a browser with commonly used features from Word on the desktop, including new page layout tools, picture tools and word count.
In addition to comment support, new co-authoring in Word Web App makes it easier to work together on the web.
With Excel Web App you get essential spreadsheet features, such as merge cells, context menus, auto-fit columns, formula assistance, fill handle and AutoSum.
Manipulate and visualize data for deeper insights with support for high fidelity charts including 3D, improved Query Table and Data Validation support, Slicer functionality and Pivot Chart interactivity.
When using PowerPoint Web App presentations look like they do on the desktop, with high-resolution slides, full transitions, and viewable comments.
Audio and video playback is now supported, even from a tablet or phone. Drag and drop support makes for easier layouts.
While the ability to insert images, apply transitions and animations, or add a pre-designed theme make polished presentations from a browser possible.
And new co-authoring and comment support in PowerPoint Web App improves collaboration in the cloud.
OneNote Web App updates. Users can find what they need more easily with the ability to search on a page or within a section.
And new support for ink viewing makes more information accessible from the web. Just click to type anywhere on the page to add a note, picture or a tag.
Notes can now be shared as a URL, viewable on a phone, PC or tablet through a browser.
Not only is Microsoft delivering new features, but they have done some work on the backend to make it easier to update and deploy new Office Web Apps features and services.
Microsoft decoupled Office Web Apps from SharePoint Online. The two services will continue work well together.
However, by deploying Office Web Apps as a standalone service, Microsoft can ship improvements when they’re ready, independent of the SharePoint Online ship cycle (and vice versa).
Additionally, by serving all of their hosts out of one service center, customers will see more consistency between the Office Web Apps available as part of Office 365 and the consumer service of Microsoft, SkyDrive.
In fact, recently the Office Web Apps on SkyDrive hit general availability, bringing the latest updates to consumers within days of our rollout on Office 365.
Browser Support Changes
Microsoft shared this spring, that they are no longer supporting IE7 across Office 365 services. If you are using IE7 with the updated Office Web Apps, they won’t render properly.
Update to IE 8 or higher to take advantage of the new Office Web Apps features. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Want to learn more about new Office Web App functionality? Take a look at Office Web App Group Program Manager, Mike Morton’s, blog post for a deep dive into the latest features from in Office Web Apps.
Customers may start to see these changes today. As Microsoft continue’s to roll out the service update worldwide, all Office 365 customers
will experience all the new Office Web App goodness by the early part of next year.