What is Microsoft Office Web App?
As the name suggests, Microsoft Office Web App is the online version of the Microsoft Office suite that is used offline. MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, etc., have been included in the Microsoft Web App Software. The software allows users to access and execute these applications through the internet. Microsoft Web App Office is supported in Windows 7 and later versions of Windows.
Microsoft Online Office Suite
Office Online, the online office suite created by Microsoft allows users to create and edit the file using the Microsoft Office applications. The following applications are available in this suite:
- Word processor
- Excel or Spreadsheet
- PowerPoint (Presentation)
- One Note (Note-taking)
History of Office Online
Office web apps, now commonly known as Office Online, was launched on June 7, 2010. With the help of Windows Live office, it was made available to the public. The idea of developing an online suite began in 2008 when it was first revealed by Chris Caposella, who is now the Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President of Consumer Business in Microsoft at the PDC (Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference).
Gradually, more effective changes and addition of applications took place for two years and it was finally launched in 2010.
In Feb 2014, the Official Web Apps were was introduced along with other services Microsoft namely, Outlook.com, Calendar, OneDrive, and People.
Limitations of Office Online
Online Word has limitations when it comes to 2 features which are present in the Microsoft Word offline; they are –Mailings and References. References contain feature like the table of contents, index, citations, and bibliography, etc. Mailings offer the users the ability to create a label and print envelopes and also mail with the word documents
The Office Online also lags behind when it comes to features like Outline, Draft, Full-screen Reading, Layout, etc. Split windows and Side-by-side viewing are also not available.
Excel Online lacks macros function which is present in the offline version. There is a limited color palette as well.
Which browsers support Office Online?
Internet Explorer 11, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and Safari, supports Office Online. Only the newer versions of these browsers support the software.
How is Office Online advantageous over its offline desktop counterpart?
- You don’t have to download or install software on your computer.
- You don’t have to regularly upgrade the applications as the online applications are updated by the server itself.
- The hardware requirements are minimal.
- Office Online is portable and can be accessed by the user anytime from any device.
- If the documents on the user’s computer are accidentally deleted or if the computer is damaged, the documents can still be retrieved as they are stored safely on the remote server or the cloud.
- Backup processes are efficient and fast.
Progressive Web apps: What is it?
PWAs or Progressive Web Applications are applications that are like regular websites but offer the user the functions of native applications. In 2015, Google Chrome engineer Alex Russel and designer Frances Berriman coined the term ‘progressive web apps’ to describe apps that are supported by web browsers and include service workers and web page manifests.
According to Google developers, the characteristics of PWA are:
- Progressive – they are created for progressive enhancement and can be used by anyone.
- Responsive – Usable in any gadget like desktop, computer, smartphone, tablet, etc.
- Connectivity independent – they can work in offline mode and even on low-speed networks.
- Traditional–all the features and user interfaces feel like that of a traditional application.
- Fresh – it’s always up-to-date due to service workers.
- Safe – HTTPS is used to prevent snooping and tampering of content.
- Discoverable – they are easily identifiable as ‘applications.’
- Reengage able – Push notifications make re-arrangement of data easier.
- Installable – allows users to install apps if they want to work offline.
- Linkable – they can easily be shared through their URLs.
Progressive Web App Office Software in Windows 10
The conventional My Office app has been replaced by the Office Progressive Web App, also referred to as PWA in Windows 10. It offers all the features of the MyOffice App, but it’s slightly different than its successor and here’s how:
- It acts as a bridge between working online and working offline.
- Users can access all the Office apps pre-installed in their desktops and also the apps on the Microsoft online server.
- Documents made online can easily be retrieved from OneDrive or SharePoint.
- Documents and contacts can be found quickly in an organization.
- It can work offline and can easily be pinned to the taskbar.
The Progressive Web App Office software is specifically created for IT professionals, entrepreneurs, presenters, etc. who are always on the go. Through the PWA, they can easily prepare a directory of all their required documents and contacts in their cloud and access them anytime and anywhere. The only necessity is a stable internet connection and a web browser. This way you don’t have to install and regularly update the Microsoft Office Apps. The best part about the progressive Web App Office Software is that it is free to all the Windows 10 users. Thus, it makes creation, formatting as well as management of data and documents easier without having to spend extra money.
With the introduction of Progressive Web App Office in Windows 10, it is a blessing for everyone as now we can access our files from any system. This will definitely improve our efficiency and also save time as we can work from any place. Apart from the limitations of the Office Online application, the features which it is providing is more than enough to get the job done.