Microsoft Office Web Apps not exclusive to Windows or IE

Well…Microsoft are ready to splash into the Web Apps water with their Office suite and the early, good news is that they have confirmed (and reiterated) that it won’t be tied to either Windows or Internet Explorer (Hurrah!!).

Thanks to it supporting Firefox and Safari (Opera anyone?), Office Web Applications will also run on Linux and the iPhone. Let’s face it, they had little choice really did they. Given their fear of Google they really have to entice people away from Google Docs and placing proprietary restrictions on the applications wouldn’t really have been a good starting place now would it!

On that point though, Microsoft still hasn’t stated whether there will be a free version, although it’s been said that the apps will be part of ‘Office Live’ which will come in both free and subscription flavours…so I think it’s fairly safe to assume that there will be a free-to-use option.

Apparently they also won’t be forcing Silverlight on users, its rival to Adobe Flash. Microsoft’s Sarah Perez, claimed on her blog that, “Silverlight is not required. Using Silverlight will enhance the user experience, resulting in
sharper images and improved rendering. Also, the Office Live Workspace
has integrated Silverlight technology into the multi-file upload
function for a better experience.”

So…interesting stuff. Now we have to wait for the technical preview.

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