Microsoft Office has been the standard in creating office documents and organizing them for many years. Google did release an online document editing software for free but it lacked many features, did not have good spell check, and ignored many formatting elements of documents you had created in other software. In short, Google Docs was not very compatible with Microsoft Office; the standard.
With Office 2010, Microsoft has released an online version of Office for Free! These Office web apps are great for doing quick editing and creating documents on the go or away from home or the office.
There are two ways of accessing the Office web apps, first if you already have a Hotmail email address (or Live, or MSN, or any other Windows Live ID) then you can already access them, just sign into you email and you will see Windows Live in the upper left-hand corner of the webpage. Just click on that.
Once you have clicked on that it will take you to the Windows Live home page, from there go to the top of the page and put the mouse pointer on Office and a menu will appear. (if you click on Office it will take you to the Office Web Apps home page which I will show later)
Now you can select a few different options and web apps, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and One Note, or go to you documents stored in Windows Live Sky Drive. Once you click on an app, you will have to create a document name, if you want to open an existing document open the one you want from your Sky Drive. Below is what the Word app looks like
You can see the now familiar Tab and Ribbon user interface. It does not have as many options as the real version of Office but it is great and handy for quick editing or creating that document on the go.
Now if you do not have a Hotmail you can get access to the Web Apps directly by going to www.office.live.com
You can use an existing Windows Live ID or create a new one. Once logged in it will take you directly to the Office Web Apps home page.
This new tool from Microsoft will no doubt be a big help for those that use Office every day or for people who can not afford Office but need to create a document. I know I will be using it a lot going forward.
Also, students can take part of the student offer from Microsoft for Office 2010 Professional Academic and Windows 7 Professional, you can read more here