Office Online is Microsoft’s answer to the ever-popular Google Docs; an online selection of its Microsoft (MS) Office applications. With Office Online you can create documents in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote and save them in OneDrive. The good news is, like Google Docs, it’s free to use and simple to get started, all you need is a Microsoft account.
The main advantage Office Online has over its offline version is the ability to share and/or edit documents in real time. There are a few other notable differences:
Being online means you can access your documents on any device at any time and the latest version will always be there.
Your work saves automatically, a definite positive if you’ve ever lost hours of work after forgetting to ‘save’ it in MS Office.
On the other hand, Office Online has a limited range of features and, as the name suggests, you must be online to use it.
And how does Office Online compare with Google’s offering? Well, the two are quite similar and, although there are differences, these are quite minor. Understandably, Office Online is more compatible with MS Office and switching between the online and offline versions is a rather seamless experience. If you’re used to using MS Office then you’ll quickly get used to Office Online. Google Docs does, however, allow you to work both online and offline for free. It also has a handy document history tracker which is helpful when creating and editing shared documents.
Check out Office Online for yourself.