Microsoft rebrands Office Web Apps as Office Online

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Nic Healey can usually be found on a couch muttering about aspect ratios and 7.1 channel sound - which is helpful given that he's the home entertainment guy at CNET.

The online app version of Microsoft Office has a new name, along with some new features.

(Credit: Microsoft)

The name change came about because, according to Office Online product marketing manager Amanda Lefebvre, the name 'Office Web Apps' had some users thinking that they need to find the software on an app store, rather than just online.

The new features have been designed to improved the overall accessibility of the service, mostly via an Office Online startup page.

Previously, you had to start at your SkyDrive (now OneDrive) page to create or open a document via Office Web Apps. Now you can head straight to the startup page where you can access the online editions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. You can also access your Outlook.com email, calendar, and contact list, as well as jumping straight to OneDrive.

The collaboration tools have also been improved, so it's easier to work with other people on the same files in real time.

Finally, Office Online users can now move from one app to another quicker and easier. Clicking on a dropdown arrow at the top displays the app switcher toolbar, but the toolbar now has icons for all of the individual apps in the suite. Simply click on the appropriate icon, and you can effortlessly move between Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.



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