Office 365: Part 3 – Office Web Apps

Office Web Apps are the online companion to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, Office Web Apps enables users to access and edit documents from anywhere you have a connection to your organization’s SharePoint site. Users can view, share, and work on documents with others online across personal computers, mobile phones, and the web. Refer to the Product homepage and the Product Guide.

Office Web Apps is available through Office 365 as a part of SharePoint Online. So now Office Web Apps is available through following 3 options:

When users click a document stored in a SharePoint document library, the document opens directly in the browser. In the browser, the document looks similar to how it appears in the Office client application. The Web App also provides many of the same editing features as the Office client application. Video: Your Office documents now can be everywhere you are 🙂

Office Web Apps make it easier for you to:

  • Extend your Office experience on the Web: Use the Office tools you are familiar with, in a Web environment.
  • Work anywhere: A browser is all you need to access your documents.
  • Work together: Your teammates can work with you on projects regardless of which version of Microsoft Office they have
Browser Support

On Desktops/Laptops:

  • Internet Explorer 7 and greater on Windows
  • Safari 4 and greater on Mac
  • Firefox 3.5 and greater on Windows, Mac, and Linux

On Mobile Devices:

  • Internet Explorer on Windows Mobile 5/6/6.1/6.5
  • Safari4 on iPhone 3G/S
  • BlackBerry 4.x and later
  • Nokia S60
  • NetFront 3.4, 3.5 and later
  • Opera Mobile 8.65 and later
  • Openwave 6.2, 7.0, and later

The Apple iPad is supported for viewing Word and PowerPoint files.

note: The list of browser and devices is slightly different than that in Planning Office Web Apps (Installed on SharePoint 2010 Products) for on-premise version of Office Web Apps.

Supported File Types

The file types supported are again same as the ones supported by Office Web Apps running on-premise on SharePoint 2010. For details, please refer to the following resources:

Viewing and Editing Documents

For the user experience and options available to view and edit Office documents using Office Web Apps, refer to either the Product Guide or the online help article Using Office Web Apps in SharePoint. Among the features provided by Office Web Apps, "Co-Authoring" is the most popular feature in my Customers.


Co-authoring enables multiple people to simultaneously edit a document at the same time. Table shown below details support for co-authoring within Office Web Apps.






Office 2010





Office Web Apps





For more details, please refer to Co-authoring overview (SharePoint Server 2010). Though the details on “Co-authoring administration” are not explicitly given anywhere for the Office 365 Beta release, I would guess that all the Windows PowerShell based configurations given in Co-authoring administration (SharePoint Server 2010) for on-premise Office Web Apps would not be available. We would need to wait for more details on this as more documentation becomes public.

For more details, please refer to the Microsoft_Office_Web_Apps_Beta_Service_Description_Final.docx document available at: Office 365 Beta Service Descriptions.

Note: this post is part of a series of posts on Office 365 Beta. Links: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

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