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Microsoft and Facebook Collaborate on Docs.com
Social media sites have become a popular business tool, and many businesses use sites such as Facebook to increase their business. Facebook announced on April 21, 2010 their collaboration with Microsoft to launch Docs.com. Users will be able to create Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, or Powerpoint presentations right on Facebook or even upload their own documents from their computers to Facebook. Users can then share and collaborate online rather than composing, editing, saving, attaching to an email, and the reverse over and over again. The risks of using the wrong version or sending off viruses are gone. While Google has been offering Google Docs for some time now, they have received some criticism for what their applications can and can’t do. Microsoft could be hoping to move in take Google’s place. Docs.com is currently limited to only accepted users because it is still only offered in the beta version. Here are some of the features that Docs.com offers: The Basics
The programs can be used online even if you don’t have Microsoft Office on your computer. If you do have Office, you can download documents from Docs.com, edit them on your computer, and save the recent version back on Facebook. While it is a very basic version of Word, Excel, Powerpoint, it offers enough of the features that have made Office popular. Once you have saved your document online, you can allow your friends viewing and editing rights. Some Advantages
- Because it is stored on the cloud, you can access your document from any computer. If you are in Paris and you need a document, you no longer have to wait for your office to open it and email or fax it to you.
- Once you have posted your document and granted editing and viewing rights, you and your friends can post comments and discuss the document.
- Microsoft’s Docs.com allows you to work offline with your document if you temporarily don’t have an Internet connection.
- Real-time editing is not available.
- More complicated features such as being able to take tables from an Excel file and insert them into a Word document aren’t currently available.
- Docs.com will only allow you to upload documents in the Office format.
- Because it is still in the beta testing stages, it still has a lot of kinks to work out. Some testers have said that it caused their browser to crash whenever they tried to make changes to a document, and some others said that downloading a document was very slow.
Because Docs.com is still in its infancy, it will probably go through several more transformations before Microsoft releases a final version. On the one hand, their current limitations could possibly cost them in their obvious competition with Google Docs, but on the other hand, Microsoft has a reputation for quality software that many consumers will gladly choose over a competitor. Another burning issue will be how well Microsoft and Facebook can secure these documents saved on the cloud-an issue that Google has already had its hands full with for some time. The decisions that Microsoft makes regarding their final version will determine their future in cloud computing.
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