Everybody grab the popcorn, Microsoft & Google will be engaged in one more fight other than search; Office web apps! In a direct comparison, between Google Docs & Microsoft Excel Web Apps, which one would you choose? Is Office Web Apps a better choice for sharing documents?
Microsoft Office Web Apps vs Google Docs Round 1
Today I received the email below from the Microsoft Office Web Apps, in which Microsoft is clear they are looking for a fight with Google. The subject line reads:
See how Office Web Apps Compare to Google Docs
See how Microsoft tries to trash Google Docs in the email, calling Google out no less than 6 times! .
I love excel, it's probably my number 1 tool in my toolbox for my work. I always feel lost if I need to work in a Google Doc online just to be able to share the information with others. Usually I rather work in excel, and send the document through email. So curious to see if Microsoft is able to bring the rich excel experience to the web, and to become a good competitor for Google Docs, I click on both the links, for Excel Web App and the Google Doc, to open in a new browser. Result: Big Fat FAIL for Microsoft!
I wonder what went wrong here, who didn't test the email, and clicked on all the links to make sure these work! QA Fail!
Ok, moving on, I click on OK, and get to the directory of public files shared as demo's. As there is one selected, I click on the link for the file, and a beautiful excel spreadsheet unfolds before my eyes. Full Excel functionality galore online, nice... .
Compared to the Google Doc, the Microsoft Excel Web App is a much richer experience!
According to the Microsoft email, Excel Web Apps will let you share functionality, which would go missing in Google Docs:
- Conditional Formatting
In their words:
You didn't want that chart there, did you? Because, if you share it with someone using Google Docs, it could disappear. If you don't want that to happen (and really, why would you?), use Office Web Apps* for free instead. It's the best way to help protect the integrity of your uploaded Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote documents.
I wonder if more people will start using Microsoft Excel Web Apps given these extra functionality, or if habits and network effects make people reluctant to switch. What do you think?