We all know that Microsoft Office is the most used suite of office applications in the world, but what is strange is how long it took the company to bring real-time co-authoring to Office Web Apps. Google Docs on the other hand still new to the office apps and has supported real-time collaboration for quite some time. Nonetheless, the software giant can finally compete at the same level with Google. Real-time editing works very similar to Google Docs, different people collaborating on a document are marked with a colored cursor with a list of users editing the document. Any change will sync automatically to the service, even if a user goes offline, this person can continue editing and changes will automatically upload when an internet connection is detected. Users running the desktop version of Office on PC or Mac can also be part of the real-time editing feature, but changes will merge only when you click save manually. The other feature I’m excited about is auto-save, this is perhaps the one feature that kept off using Microsoft Office Web Apps, having to save manually or being interrupted by the message that ‘I needed to refresh the document’ was just a bit annoying. Also in this new update, Microsoft is rolling out a few extra features such as “find and replace”, formatting and styles for headers, footers, and tables for Word Web Apps. PowerPoint got a new picture cropping tool, and Excel gets drag and drop support for sheet reordering and cells and support for workbooks. As promised Microsoft also is planning to roll out a new update in December for Office 365 Home Premium users. 365 customers will be able to share the service to other four accounts, which will allow to install the office suite on Windows PCs, Macs, or in mobile devices and get 20GB of extra storage in SkyDrive. Finally the software giant will include editing features for Android Office Web Apps for Chrome in the coming weeks. If you want to test the new features released today, log on to your SkyDrive account and create a new document.

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