Co-Authoring in Word Web App, Office Web Apps Collaboration Evolution in the Cloud

Word Web App is growing up and following in the footsteps of its bigger brothers Office Word 2010 and Office Word for Mac 2011, by flexing its collaborative muscles.

The collaboration capabilities of Microsoft’s hosted flavor of Office evolved this week with the introduction of co-authoring for the Word Web App.

The new functionality that’s now live for over 50 million Office Web Apps users worldwide lets customers pair together and work on Word documents in the Cloud in tandem.

Co-authoring in the Word Web App on SkyDrive is not limited to the Cloud version of Word, as it can easily stretch to the desktop, allowing members of a specific group to collaborate simultaneously and in real-time on Word documents using Word 2010, Word for Mac 2011 or the SkyDrive hosted version of the popular Office component.

“When you’re co-authoring, you always have a real time view into who is making changes and where these changes are occurring. As soon as you begin typing, the corresponding section of the document is locked and others are notified, placing you in control and freeing others from distraction. Contributors can hit “save” at any time to see an updated view of all changes,” revealed Tristan Davis and Jenni French, from the Office Web Apps Team.

Make sure to check out the video embedded below in order to get some insight into the new collaborative experience made possible by Office Word, both in the Cloud and on the desktop.

Co-authoring in Word Web App is not ad-hoc, and changes won’t be synchronized as users type. Instead, the software giant opted for a more organized formula of collaboration, in which a single user is permitted to edit a specific area of a document that’s locked to everyone else.

Only after a document is saved, an action which refreshes it for all users that are working simultaneously on it, will the changes also be synchronized.

“All of this works today across the Word Web App on SkyDrive, Word 2010, and Word for Mac 2011, so you can work together and be more productive across the browser, the PC, or the Mac,” Davis stressed.

Previously, users could leverage Office Web Apps on SkyDrive to work concomitantly on Excel and OneNote files, now this is also valid for Word Web App for two or multiple users editing documents simultaneously.

But since this is the Cloud we’re talking about, of course seamless sharing and collaboration should be nothing short of default features.

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