Have you ever gone into a meeting, only to realize that spreadsheet you worked on all night didn’t save. Frantically you call a co-worker and hope that they have a copy with the latest changes. Well it happens more than you think and Microsoft has found a way to help by allowing you to work in the “cloud”.
With the roll-out of Microsoft Office For Mac 2011, Microsoft introduced the world to the powerful capabilities of cloud-based computing with Office Web App. With Office Web, you can now access all your favorite Office applications, including Excel, from the convenience of your web browser.
Gone are the days of carrying thumb drives or even worse – CD-ROMs. If you have Excel 2010 and Windows SkyDrive installed on your Mac, you can now access and work on your workbooks from anywhere – on the bus, at home or even at 50,000 feet. You’re working in the cloud, baby!
As part of the Microsoft Office Web experience, Excel Web extends the Office 2011 suite to your web browser so that you can work on your workbooks directly on the site where the workbook is stored whether on your organizations SharePoint site or on your Sky Drive account.
Now you can share the love and work on spreadsheets simultaneously with others. This ability to collaborate asynchronously can streamline your organizations work processes and allows, “Brainstorming” session that can help get the most out of your team. As an added bonus, Excel 2011 is web based, so now you can work virtually anywhere you have an Internet connection. As a result, you’re no longer tied to your desk to get work done.
With Microsoft Office Web App, you can now -
Work in the “Cloud”. With new web capabilities, you can now view workbooks in your browser. When opening a workbook in the Excel Web App, the workbook gets displayed in view mode. Like older versions of Excel you can expand PivotTables to view data relationships and identify trends, sort, filter and change data and view different worksheets.
Edit as a Team. With Excel Web, the only thing you need is a browser, no fancy software upgrades are needed. And with its new asynchronous capabilities you and your teammates can collaborate on documents in real time regardless of which version of Excel they running. That means your office mate who’s still running Excel 2011 no longer has an excuse for skipping out on work.
Work Smarter, Not Harder. Excel Web takes productivity to a whole level. When you click on an Excel workbook stored on your businesses SharePoint site or in your SkyDrive account, the workbook opens directly in your browser. Workbooks look the same in the browser as they do in Excel, now you can edit your worksheets in the browser including entering or editing formulas, changing data fields, or even formatting your spreadsheet. Best of all, any changes you make in the Excel Web App are automatically saved.
So what is Skydrive and how do I use it?
To access SkyDrive, fisrt you need to download SkyDrive for Mac. That can be done by accessing: https://apps.live.com/skydrive . Once you’ve installed the SkyDrive software, you need to create a Windows Live account (don’t worry it’s free) to access SkyDrive.
Everything you put into your SkyDrive folder is automatically synced between all your computers – as long as SkyDrive is installed on them too. That means any additions, changes or deletions that you make to your worksheets from home are automatically applied to your SkyDrive and shared to all your computers. No more excuses for leaving your work at home.
As an added bonus, Microsoft gives you 7GB of free storage with SkyDrive. That’s enough for over 20,000 documents or 7,000 cute cat pictures! For most people, this is more than enough space. But If it isn’t enough, you can buy more virtual storage space for a low yearly fee.
Is it safe, or can the Chinese Army hack into my account?
According to Microsoft, “The files and photos you store in SkyDrive are protected by first-rate security features” this includes Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption to protect your files when you upload or download them. Physical and electronic security measures on the servers to keep your data secure. And as an added feature to prevent data loss, copies of each file saved on multiple servers and hard drives, protecting you and your data from hardware failure.
SkyDrive is secure and password protected, and when working with teams you can decide who can access your files. So no need to worry about anyone seeing you latest attempt at writing a screenplay or hacking your ugly sweater knitting plans.
Why you should download SkyDrive?
Simply put, with Microsoft Office For Mac 2011 you have virtually no excuses for not getting work done. It’s accessible from almost anywhere, unless you’re living in the same cave Osama Bin Laden was before the Navy Seals found him.
Even better, it’s available for a wide array of products, not just Mac’s. So you can sync your Skydrive accounts to your iPad, iPhone, even your Xbox. Anybody up for a fragging party, so that we can get some work done?