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Analysis / Cloud

Cloud Connect Links MS Office Users To Google Docs For Seamless Integration

Google is launching a new connector service that links its Google Docs service with Microsoft Office. Google Cloud Connect is intended for Office users who have not made the full move to Google Docs and allows people to use the Office interface with the features that come with Google Docs Web-based collaboration.

The service syncs Office documents to a Google account. Users do not leave the Office environment and once synced, documents receive a unique URL. After that the document is part of Google Docs with all the features that come with that service.

Google’s own enterprise blog explains: “ For those of you who have not made the full move to Google Docs and are still using Microsoft Office, Google has something great to offer. With Cloud Connect, people can continue to use the familiar Office interface, while reaping many of the benefits of web-based collaboration that Google Docs users already enjoy.

”Users of Office 2003, 2007 and 2010 can sync their Office documents to the Google cloud, without ever leaving Office. Once synced, documents are backed-up, given a unique URL, and can be accessed from anywhere (including mobile devices) at any time through Google Docs. And because the files are stored in the cloud, people always have access to the current version.

“Once in the Google cloud, documents can be easily shared and even simultaneously edited by multiple people, from right within Office. A full revision history is kept as the files are edited, and users can revert to earlier versions in one click. These are all features that Google Docs users already enjoy today, and now we’re bringing them to Microsoft Office.”

The invitation to “beta test” the new package has been withdrawn because of the demand.

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Kevin Tea is a journalist and marketing communications professional who has worked for some of the leading blue chip companies in the UK and Europe. In the 1990s he became interested in how emerging Internet-based technologies could change the way that people worked and became an administrator on the Telework Europa Forum on CompuServe. With other colleagues he took part in a four year European Commission sponsored project to look at the way that the Internet could benefit remote communities. His blog is a resource for SMEs who want to use cloud computing and Web 2.0 technologies.