Office Live Workspace
Microsoft announced this week that they are preparing to launch a beta version of a new online tool, “Office Live Workspace”. This is a tool designed to help Microsoft users store, share and access files online. It allows users to have access to business documents they may store there while they are away from the office. This means that workers can stay productive, even if they are caught out of the office. Also, it allows easier sharing of documents between co-workers, meaning that co-workers can collaborate on projects and reports much easier.
Office Live Workspace is not currently going to be allowing users to edit or create documents online, but instead is intended to work alongside a desktop version of Microsoft Office (The Associated Press). This can be seen as an advantage because it will use programs many people already use in their everyday work and that they are comfortable and familiar with. This could also be seen as a bit of a drawback, as organizations wishing to make use of it will have to be using Microsoft Office, as will all of their employees who may want to access their documents at home.
Some organizations may feel more secure using an online document sharing system offered by Microsoft, as opposed to others that are currently available. Microsoft will be offering virus and security protection for documents stored in the workspace. Also, users will be able to control who may access, edit or only review and comment on a particular document. This means that even while in the editing stage, employees could get input from co-workers, without giving them the opportunity to edit a document themselves.
Office Live Workspace is going to be accessible only with a Windows Live ID, meaning all companies wanting to take advantage of this tool will need to allow their employees to have a Windows Live ID, possibly a one that is solely for work purposes so that this tool will not be utilised for non-work related things during working hours.
Microsoft also has plans to possibly integrate this system with other products that utilise Windows Live IDs, such as Hotmail or Windows Live Messenger (CNET News). While these developments could improve employee productivity with the ability to contact co-workers and instant message each other in real time, as opposed to email which can cause delays and hold-ups in communication, they could also present problems with personal use conflicts. Using all of this interconnected software will require organizations to have very good IT use policies in place to diminish the number of people who may begin to abuse the use of these programs in the workplace.
Fried, Ina. (September 30, 2007). Microsoft Office heads to the Web. Retrieved October 1, 2007, from CNET News.com Website: http://www.news.com/Microsoft-Office-heads-to-the-Web/2100-1012_3-6210696.html?tag=nefd.lede
Microsoft Office Live Workspace. (2007). Retrieved October 1, 2007, from Microsoft Corporation Website: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/officelive/FX102394081033.aspx
Mintz, Jessica. (October 1, 2007). Microsoft to Unveil Microsoft Live Workspace. Retrieved October 1, 2007 from The Associated Press Website: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hiiOCMPC5XQNJkiuNOzZDAUFCVFAD8S08TA80