Office Web Apps and Office Mobile 2010 can you use on your mobile right now and what will be available when the product ships next spring?What exactly from
Mary Jo Foley does the best job of outlining what is happening here. Let's take a sky high look and see if we can make sense of things so you know what to do if you really have an interest in giving Office a try on the mobile.
First of all, Office Web Apps is now in beta and available for download. It is free.
Here is the first point of confusion and in our book goes to the heart of the issue.
The Office Web Apps you download today is NOT the Office Web Apps that will ship next spring. What you download today is actually the business version, which is the paid version of the product. We expect that if you download the application today then you will have to download a new one when the REAL Office Web Apps launches next spring.
Let's move on to the next issue. What is exactly available with Office Web Apps?
According to Foley, it works with the following phones and apps:
* IE on Windows Mobile 5/6/6.1/6.5
* Safari4 on iPhone 3G/S
* BlackBerry 4.x and newer versions
* Nokia S60
* NetFront 3.4, 3.5 and newer versions
* Opera Mobile 8.65 and newer versions
* Openwave 6.2, 7.0 and newer versions
Hold on one more time. There is more we need to explain. According to Foley, you can only view documents in Office Web Apps. You can not write to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote documents.That's true now and will remain true when the product launches next spring.
On the other hand, Foley says...."Office Mobile 2010 enables editing and viewing of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and SharePoint documents on phones running the Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system."
But will there ever be the ability to actually interact with documents using the free version of Office Web Apps? Yes, but Microsoft is still trying to figure out how that will all work. In the meantime, to run Office Mobile 2010, users will need Sharepoint on the back end. Why? Apparently, the back end running out of Sharepoint determines what document to post to your mobile.