Microsoft Office Live Workspace: what’s missing from the FAQ?

A lot. It seems that Microsoft’s Office Live Workspace is free hosted SharePoint. You will be able to save and open Office documents directly to and from the Internet. A genuinely useful service; but here are a few questions that are not covered in the FAQ:

Can I create or edit documents using just a web browser?

My guess: presumably not. Microsoft will require you to use Office, or whatever offline editor you used to create the document.

What do users not running Windows and/or not running Office see when they access a shared document?

I’m not sure about this one. Presumably they can download documents and open them if they have a compatible editor or viewer. That’s not online collaboration though. Sharepoint also has the ability to render office documents as html, through an HTML viewing server:

The HTML viewing server provides support for users who want to view the content of files on the Windows SharePoint Services Web site, but do not have Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, or Microsoft PowerPoint from Microsoft Office 97, or a later release of Office, installed on their local computer. Even users who only have a Web browser (Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator) can view content by having the native Office file format converted to HTML automatically.

Will this be part of Office Live Workspace? That’s not yet clear.

How do I access Live Workspace documents offline?

Good question. Mary Jo Foley has the best report on this, and quotes Corporate Vice President Rajesh Jha,:

Groove will be the way you take any Workspace offline, Jha said

Now, a Live Workspace plus synchronized offline store would really get my interest. But when, how, and at what cost?

What files types can be stored (and a few related questions)?

Live Workspace is not just for Office docs; you can store other file types as well. The FAQ says:

For your protection, we don’t allow the uploading of files that could cause security issues such as .exe files.

Does that mean any file type that is not on a security blacklist? Or is there a whitelist of safe file types? If we are saving from a non-Office application, will the Live Workspace appear as a virtual directory in the file system? What about saving from other operating systems?

How much space is available?

Can’t believe it’s not in the FAQ? If it is, I can’t see it. It says:

You can store over 1,000 Office documents in your workspace, based on the average file size and use of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint by students, work, and home users.

I hate being treated like an idiot. (PS: the consensus is that it is 250MB).

When will Office Live Workspace be available?

That’s not stated.

That will do for starters. Microsoft, how about adding these to your FAQ?

One thought on “Microsoft Office Live Workspace: what’s missing from the FAQ?”

  1. I was wondering which file formats are accepted…Well, I found out that (of course) the ODF format is NOT supported… but what about staroffice format? csv? .rtf?
    well, I don’t really bother to be honest, you can’t even modify documents with Office Live Workspace…..

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