Microsoft Rolls Out Office Live Workspace Beta
Microsoft has begun a full rollout of the private beta of its Live Office Workspace. OLW, unveiled earlier this year, is a Web-based feature of Microsoft Office that allows for collaboration and sharing of documents. The technologies included in OLW have already been rolled into Microsoft's Live@edu, a portal, communications, and collaboration suite for education.
Office Live Workspace is the first service released under the Office Live services banner. It allows Office users to save documents to the Web, share work, and collaborate.
"Based on feedback during initial testing and planning, we've received very positive feedback about Office Live Workspace," said Kirk Gregersen, Office Director of Consumer and Small Business Product Management in an article posted on Microsoft's site. "The product team worked hard to give Office users what they have been asking us for. We did a ton of usability and early alpha testing, during which people gave us great feedback that we've been able to incorporate into the beta you'll see today. We'll continue to evolve the service over the coming months, drawing heavily from things we're hearing on the community forum and in our early adopter programs."
He said he's also seen a high level of interest on the education side of things, especially colleges and universities. "We reached capacity almost immediately with our early adopter program, which now includes schools such as the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Washington, and Vanderbilt University. Many students and faculty members use Office on the desktop every day, so people have been particularly excited about how Office and Office Live Workspace work together with features like the one-click save to their workspace, the Office Live Workspace add-in for Office, the high fidelity viewing experience, and the Outlook and Excel synching capabilities."
Other universities participating in the Office Live Workspace University Early Adopter Program have included Ball State University, DeVry University, Florida Community College at Jacksonville, Indiana University, Kentucky Community and Technical College System, Michigan State University, University of Illinois, and Rio Salado College of the Maricopa Community Colleges.
OLW's integration with Live@edu, launched back in late October, brought users the ability to upload Office documents through the service and set permissions for others to view and collaborate on documents, including instructors and other students. Live@edu was also upgraded to provide 5 GB of e-mail storage space (up from 2 GB) and 1 GB of general storage space (password-protected). It's also added enhancements to e-mail, including whitelisting (which prevents specified e-mail addresses from being caught by the spam filter) and automatic e-mail reply.