Microsoft has released a browser extension designed to bridge the Cloud version of Office with older versions of the productivity suite for Firefox users.
Version 1.0 of the Office Web Apps Browser Plugin is now available for download free of charge from the software giant.
According to the Redmond company, the extension is designed to integrate seamlessly with Mozilla Firefox, but only in the context in which users are leveraging Office 2010’s predecessors.
By deploying the Office Web Apps Browser Plugin, Firefox users essentially install an add-on for their browser that connects the Cloud and desktop flavors of Office.
Once the plug-in has been installed, users can navigate to Office Web Apps using Firefox and seamlessly transition content from the Cloud to the desktop versions of Office components.
“If you have Firefox and either Microsoft Office 2003 or Office 2007, this plugin enables you to open documents directly from Office Web Apps into the appropriate Office desktop application,” the software giant explained.
“For example, in Word Web App, clicking Open in Word results in the document being opened in Word 2003 or Word 2007. When the document is saved in Word, it is saved back at the web location where it was opened.”
It’s important to note that the functionality described above is already featured by default into Office 2010.
Essentially, Office 2010 includes the add-on for Firefox out-of-the box, according to the Redmond company, with the extension being necessary only for Office 2007 and Office 2003 users.
Microsoft has not said if it’s working on similar Office Web Apps plugins for additional browsers, such as Chrome, Opera or Safari.
Office Web Apps Browser Plugin is designed to integrate with Firefox 3.5, Firefox 4.0, Firefox 5 and supports Word Web App, Excel Web App and PowerPoint Web App as well as Office 2003 SP3 and Office 2007 SP2.
Office Web Apps Browser Plugin for Firefox is available for download here.