RealTime IT News

Public Beta for Office Live Workspace

Microsoft announced Monday it has expanded the beta test of its upcoming Office Live Workspaces free services for Office users to include anyone who wants to kick the service's tires.

Office Live Workspace began limited beta testing in October. It provides online storage "in the cloud" for users' documents as well as the ability to share them with others, but not create or edit them.

As of Tuesday, the beta test version, which is in English only so far, will be open for immediate testing. "We're taking the 'private' label off," Eric Gilmore, senior product manager for Office, told InternetNews.com.

Simultaneously, Microsoft is adding new features to the beta, including e-mail notifications when a document changes on the site, as well as a multi-file upload with drag and drop capabilities. The beta also adds an activity panel that shows users at a glance what has changed since last logging in. It also lets users bookmark a workspace or a workspace item.

The offering, which was first announced back in early October, lets users store up to 1,000 Office documents online, according to company statements. The maximum individual file size is 50 MB, Gilmore said.

Users can view and comment on documents via a browser, and also generate Web lists and notes.

Office Live Workspace is just one part of Microsoft's overarching strategy of software-plus-services. The official release of Office Live Workspace is slated for later this year, the company said.

Users can sign up for the beta Here.