Microsoft to boost Office Web Apps features

Microsoft plans to accelerate improvements in Office Web Apps, the browser-based version of the Office suite, adding features like real-time co-authoring of documents and the ability to run in Android tablets via mobile Chrome browser support.

The planned enhancements, scheduled for release at some point in the next 12 months, are part of a shift in the way Microsoft views Office Web Apps, the company said Tuesday.

Originally conceived in 2010 as a lightweight companion to the main desktop Office suite, Office Web Apps is now seen as a potentially more powerful product, thanks to improvements in browser technology and connection speeds.

“Our goal for Office Web Apps is that people can rely on it to create polished Office documents from start to finish,” Michael Atalla, director of Office 365 product management, said in an interview.

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