20 Million People Tap Into Web Office Apps

Microsoft said that some 20 million people have made use of its web-based Office applications.

The company revealed in a blog post that users in Canada, Ireland, the US and the UK had topped the milestone in just over 100 days since the service was launched.

Microsoft began offering the web-based applications earlier this year. The ports of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and SkyDrive were designed to supplement the Office software and compete with web-based offerings such as Zoho and Google Apps.

To mark the milestone, the company is expanding the platform. The new offerings include the ability to embed Excel and PowerPoint documents into web pages as well as the addition of mobile applications and the ability to directly open web files in Office applications.

Microsoft said in a blog posting that the update would seek to build on the notion of Office as a combined software and web service platform.

"While using the Office Web Apps has been popular, we've heard from you that you often want to take advantage of the full power of Office on your desktop," wrote SkyDrive lead program manager Jason Moore.

"Since over 90 per cent of documents on SkyDrive were first created in Office on the desktop, we hope this new feature will make it easy to bring your document back to your desktop for additional editing."

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