Microsoft Office Web Apps: Microsoft Office Web Apps are online versions of the core MS Office applications. These are touch-friendly web applications that allow you to create, edit and share your Excel, Word, PowerPoint and OneNote files from any browser.
Real-time co-authoring is the latest major updates introduced by Microsoft in Office Web Apps. It allows more than one user to work on same files simultaneously without conflicts in editing, just like Google docs.
It is an extremely impressive feature in Office Web Apps that help you see where co-authors are working in the document and you can make sure that two people are not editing the same thing and easily avoid conflicts. Before this update, people could jointly edit the same documents in Office Web Apps but changes had to be saved for other collaborators to see them. With the new real-time co-authoring feature, collaborators can see other's modifications as they are made. It is an awesome new feature in Office Web Apps that help you and your co-workers to be more productive than ever before, no matter where you are working from. Office web apps display a menu at the top right that list all authors currently working on particular document and you can see different colored flag for each authors, just like Google docs.
According to Microsoft, real-time authoring is not only new feature added in Office web apps, the following changes also made in each of the Office Web Apps to bring the experience of the desktop apps to the Web. Other new features are improved formatting controls, the ability to drag and drop cells, new picture cropping functionality and more.
Word Web App: The web-based Word version has new feature to save automatically your documents when you make any changes. It means that save button is gone. Now you get ability to add headers and footers in your documents. Placing text and page numbers in header and footer are much easier now. The table functionality has been greatly expanded with wide variety of great-looking presets that will automatically inherit your document color's palette. You can also use find and replace feature, as in desktop application. The new Page breaks feature in Word Web App allows you to insert page breaks in the document.
Excel Web App: With real-time co-authoring presence in excel sheet you can see what cells other users are editing so that you do not accidentally edit the same cell at the same time. The new feature of ability to drag and drop cells in excel web apps makes it easier to work with spreadsheet online. Dragging cells are the easiest ways to move particular cell values from one place to another. With reordering sheets feature in excel web app you can move sheet from on location in workbooks to another. New features in Excel Web App offers a quick analysis of a range of data right in the status bar, including sum, count, and average of a selected range of cells. Until now, Excel web app would not allow you to open and interact with spreadsheets that have sheet protection, but now it does and it prevents users from selecting or typing in protected cells. Now user can rename the workbook file simply and quick time by just clicking the filename in the header and type in your new name.
PowerPoint Web App: In PowerPoint web app, Microsoft has added a picture cropping functionality and it gives you more control of the visuals to make your presentation more impressive. Now, a user can change the name of their files within the editing window of PowerPoint Web App, and across the other Office Web Apps. Microsoft has also improved the look and usability with a new color coded bar and now you can insert, arrange, rotate and format all the shapes more easily as you are used to.
Besides of these, Microsoft has also added new user interface, navigation feature in OneNote Apps, new design of the Top menu for all Office Web Apps and a new search bar “Tell me what you want to do” for Excel and Word Web Apps.
If a user is so comfortable with desktop version of Microsoft Office, then it is very easy for him to move his work to cloud and get real-time collaborations features in Office Web Apps.