Lots of the talk around Office documents these days seems to be about “Collaboration”. “Team work”. “Sharing”. And yet, you don’t get an A on your term paper because four people were on your team. And you don’t get promoted because your business plan involved 30 different reviewers. No doubt, it almost always takes a group of people to get the job done these days, but the job is still about the output.
Unfortunately these days we have to choose between simple collaboration and rich, polished output. With the first, you might use a web tool thinking “it’s good enough” because everyone has easy access to the doc. But you still have to spend a lot time at the tail end finalizing the output and adding elements that aren’t supported in the web tool. With the second, you might juggle multiple email attachments from multiple people, multiple versions, resulting in multiple headaches. Sure, output layout and design is preserved throughout the collaboration process, but at the cost of deciphering everyone’s additions along the way.
Here on the Office team, we have been focused on getting the right combination: collaboration without compromise. No matter what type of output you create, you want to focus on your content, not the tasks associated with creating and managing it. With the co-authoring experience in Word, PowerPoint, and OneNote, you can simultaneously edit the same content with colleagues or friends without compromising the quality and user experience you’ve come to expect from Microsoft Office. With your documents stored on SharePoint 2010 or Windows Live, the Office Web Apps are great partners to the Office 2010 Clients apps. The Office Web Apps allow you to access and share that rich content even if you don’t have the Office 2010 Client apps. Be sure to read the Web App blog for more details.
With the Office 2010 desktop apps against SharePoint 2010 or Windows Live, you get the best of both worlds – the ability to create the best possible content with multiple people. Simple. Now, there’s only one version of the output AND you know when others are working on it with you. No intrusive UI. No check-in/check-out. No waiting your turn. No losing control of when you share your changes or when you see others’ changes. Want to track your changes and add comments into the marketing plan in Word 2010 while Bob is on page three? Check. (In fact, that’s how this blog entry was created). Want to edit a video in PowerPoint 2010 while Sally updates slide two? Check. Want to brainstorm with your research team in real time with OneNote 2010 – screen clippings, audio and video recordings, handwriting included? Check, check and check.
Co-authoring in Microsoft Office 2010 means no more compromise between easy collaboration and effective content. Find out how it works in your favorite app — check out the video and links below and let us know what you think.
- Word: Co-authoring – Where we are Coming From
- Word: Co-authoring (i.e. Simultaneous Editing) in Word 2010
- PowerPoint: The New World of Co-Authoring
Product manager – Office