Microsoft, on a Rebranding Streak, Renames Office Web Apps

This is Microsoft's week for rebranding. First it relaunched SkyDrive as OneDrive, and now Office Web Apps will henceforth be known as Microsoft Office Online.

The change had been rumored since last month. In a posting on the official Office Blog, Microsoft's Amanda Lefebvre wrote on Wednesday that the company "heard from customers that the inclusion of Apps in our name was confusing." Customers, she said, were not clear if Office Web Apps were something to install, or if one needed to get them from an app store.

"No," she answered, "to use them all you need is a Web browser." That, Lefebvre said in the voice of a customer, sounds "like Office, online."

Couldn't Find Apps

In addition to the name, Lefebvre said a second issue was that many people who were not already using Office Online via SkyDrive -- now called OneDrive -- could not find the apps. To remedy that problem, the company is re-branding Office.com as the front door for Office Online.

At Office.com, visitors now see tiles for online versions of Word, Outlook.com, OneNote, PowerPoint, Calendar and Excel, as well as access to OneDrive. A user of those cloud-based apps will need to create or login to a Microsoft Account, using any e-mail address. All the online apps are free to use, and they automatically save to OneDrive, where the apps are also still available.

Aside from the name change and the new online address, Microsoft has also added hundreds of templates to Word, PowerPoint and Excel, such as for budgets, resumes, and calendars. There's also an app switcher for moving between files, e-mail or storage, and collaboration features for working with others on the same files in real time have been enhanced.

OneDrive to SkyDrive

Office.com also shows three choices for online use...

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