Perhaps to counter Apple's move to make its iWork office productivity suite free across iOS, Mac and the web, Microsoft today has announced significant updates to its Office Web Apps. The biggest feature is that users now have the ability to co-author documents across Word, Excel and PowerPoint on the web. As Microsoft noted on its Office 365 blog:
A document is only as good as the people who contribute to it. So today, we're introducing a new way for people to collaborate on documents with Office Web Apps.
Using real-time co-authoring, colleagues, friends and family can contribute and edit documents simultaneously in the Word Web App, PowerPoint Web App or Excel Web App. New real-time presence helps you see where your co-authors are working in the document so that you don't create conflicts as you edit. Additionally, the new ability to see changes to text and formatting as they happen will help you and your co-authors stay on the same page as your ideas develop and evolve.
In addition to real-time co-authoring, Microsoft's web apps now also offer improved formatting, styles, and search controls in Word; the ability to drag and drop cells and reorder sheets in Excel; and new picture-cropping functionality in PowerPoint, among other features.