October seems to be a crucial month for Microsoft. With Windows 8 release around the corner, the company is doing all it takes to entice users towards its products. Recently, Microsoft gave a Metro UI inspired update to Skype. Now the company has given an apt follow up in the form of an update for Office Web apps which are currently live on SkyDrive. The update covers web versions of Excel, Powerpoint, Word and OneNote.
Microsoft seems to be concentrated on making the user interface more touch centric with the new Word web app. Touch centric is the general theme now being followed by most products from Microsoft. With the update, the Word web app has also received support for a number of new graphics, layouts, images etc. A new viewing mode has also been included. Users will now be able to integrate comments in their documents. Layout and Picture tools have also been included which makes the web app as functional as the native app.
Excel has also received some significant upgrades. Several spreadsheet features have been added like merge cells, auto-fit, columns, formula, Autosum and fill handle. Users from now on will be able to visualize data using high fidelity charts.
Printing capabilities have also been integrated in the browser. The updated Powerpoint app looks and performs quite like the desktop version of the application. Users will be able to view high resolution slides in the updated version. Multimedia capabilities have also been included. Users will be able to insert images, apply transition and add animations to their slides. A collection of pre-designed themes have also been included to enhance the Powerpoint experience.
Apart from these three main apps, the OneNote app has also been updated. Certain notable features like on page search and search with in a selection have been added to the application. Support for ink viewing which makes the content more accessible on the web has been included. Users will now be able to share notes as URL. These notes can be viewed on PCs, smartphones and tablets using the browser.