I am not sure if Microsoft Office Live is trying to compete with Google Docs, but what I know for sure is that I wasn’t totally impressed. Don’t get me wrong, having such a service is always appreciated especially when it ties in with Office 2007 in terms of syncing documents. Plus it’s free of charge. But Office Live still has a long way to go in order for me to see a competition against Google Docs.
On the other hand, Google Docs immediately impressed me right off the bat with their simple, user friendly and responsive interface. They have most, if not all, the tools I ever want to use when it comes to creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations. And it’s all available on the web free of charge. That’s when I started searching for Microsoft’s answer to Google Docs and found about Office Live.
You might think I am leaning more towards Google Docs, but those who know me know that I stand by Microsoft’s products and services. And as soon as I knew about Office Live I immediately added it to my favorites and I am confident that I will be using it often. Better yet, I even started sending feedback filled with suggestions and feature requests that in my opinion will further improve and promote the service.
But the thing that bugs me is the way the Live Services team tends to widen the gap between some of their Live services. I mean, we’re all familiar with the commonly seen Windows Live bar with the quick shortcuts to Home, Hotmail, Spaces and OneCare. But what about SkyDrive, QnA, and Office Live? And even though they were still in beta, shouldn’t they allow more people to use those new services in order to get more feedback by giving users quick shortcuts to the services?
After I visited the Office Live site, I didn’t know if it’s part of the Windows Live services or is it a standalone online service. If it’s a standalone service, then why put a "Live" label on it? And if it’s part of the Windows Live services, then why does it not have the Windows Live bar at the top, and why doesn’t it follow the same look and feel of the other Windows Live services? I don’t know why, but Microsoft got me used to leaving me confused with any new service it launches in beta.
You know something, sometimes I wish I was part of the Live team in order to share and work with them on some of my ideas which I am confident will help improve the commonly used and new Windows Live services. But all I can do in the meantime is wish.