I was speaking at the 2007 West Midlands ICT Conference a couple of weeks back about Microsoft's Software + Services Strategy. The talk focused mainly on what S+S is, where Microsoft is going with it and provided some reality with a few demos. Microsoft believes in a combination of both offline and online software - there is no right way to use software but having the flexibility of computing on your PC and on the Internet (The Cloud) is a good thing. Our online services will look to complement and add value on top of our existing and new PC software whilst providing a consistent experience for users when moving from software to service - the dividing line will be seamless.
The demos I did during the talk looked at Office Live and how this online tool is extending the capability and value of the Office suite of products. I used Office 2007 to make changes to a document I had stored in Office Live Workspaces and then save it back up to the storage provided by the service in the cloud: Software + Service in action!
Via the LiveSide guys I picked up this great free download that enables you to upload documents to Office Live Workspaces and open documents directly from within Office. Now although you could edit and save documents, presentations, spreadsheets etc that were already uploaded to Office Live Workspaces, you couldn't create a new document and save it up to Office Live Workspaces automatically. You would have to login to the web UI and then upload it from a saved location on your PC.
This add-in allows you to get round this by uploading the document (saving) automatically to Office Live Workspaces - fantastic. It's a great addition and makes that dividing line I mentioned earlier completely seamless.