Microsoft has been sharing with bloggers today some screenshots of the forthcoming Microsoft Office Live Workspace. The company made its most recent major announcement about the online collaboration suite that integrates with Office at the end of last month. Interested users can now pre-register for the free service's launch later this year.

Obviously a major challenge to Google Docs and other online office and collaboration tools, Live Workspace looks great to me in these screenshots. I haven't investigated to see if it will be cross-platform compatible but if not I'll fire up Windows just to test it out when released. Richard MacManus wrote at length here about Workspace earlier this month, calling it a "weak me-too offering." I'm not so sure. In case you haven't noticed, Google Docs look, export and print dog-ugly. There's certainly room for competition, as even Adobe signaled with their acquisition of a Buzzword this month.

Screenshots below, click these preview images to view them in beautiful full size.