Docs.com is a new offering from Microsoft that is pretty much Office in a web browser. Based on the little play I’ve had the service is fast, snappy and if you’ve had chance to try the Office 2010 beta of the windows app it’s very easy to use.
Surprisingly uses Facebook to login instead of Microsoft own Windows Live ID but this does offer tight integration allowing me to add people I know to collaborate or view a document I’m working on with very little effort.
The clean interface is not only easy to use for current Microsoft Office users but an effortless transition for those who have been using the 2010 beta. It does however lack a few basic features including image alignment, merge table cells and clip art as far as I can tell just search Bing Images. I do however like the way it auto corrects words like the desktop app and the easy to use table creation and edit a tools although formatting the table with heading and colours is yet possible.
So far I haven’t had a chance to look at the collaboration tools but based on what I’ve seen of the core application I have high expectations for them.
I fact this might tempt me away from Apple’s iWork package to Microsoft’s Office for Mac 2011 and swap Google Docs for collaboration. It does however miss a few things I come accustom to in both Apple Pages and Google Docs, Save as PDF I send most of the documents I write in PDF to people for approval or reference. Very little of what I write has a need to be printed. The PDF format is supported almost everywhere, mobile phones, Kindle, computers and more, making it a near perfect solution for my needs.
It does still course problems when copying and pasting out of the app where it will include double spacing on paragraphs and generate some really messy HTML when copying to a web page, like in my case writing this post. I wrote a big part of this on Docs.com and when it come time to copy to WordPress I got double spaces and messy HTML forcing me to use the paste from Word Tools.
Now the service is still in closed beta and there are a few bugs like printing from the web app seemed to do nothing for me and changing the spell checkers language to English (U.K.) doesn’t do much ether. It can also be a bit slow at loading certain parts such as the reading view but as I said it is a beta and I’m sure Microsoft will iron these out in time.
Unfortunately to get access you have to wait in tern or ask a friend with access to invite you to edit a document (not tested).