Do you like the coolness of simultaneous document editing Google offers, but really need all the features in Microsoft Office? Now you can have both.
The Google Docs team recently announced Google Cloud Connect feature that allows you to share and collaboratively edit an Office document with others while still inside the Microsoft Office application.
For a long time now, Google Docs has allowed users to store any document types in their account space. Converting a Microsoft Office document to a Google Docs format is optional.
With this new plug-in, Google has extended their "cloud" storage beyond a mere storage and retrieval system. It is now an online working drive for live, real-time editing. This move, essentially target's Microsoft's fledgling Skydrive and Live Mesh services.
The plug-in provides a simple toolbar to access various sharing and syncing options. Documents are shared using a button right on the toolbar, using the same familiar interface as in Google Docs. The toolbar works with Microsoft Office versions 2003, 2007 and 2010. However, Google notes that a handful of features in Excel and PowerPoint are not supported.
The timing of Google's announcement is also interesting to note. It comes two weeks after Microsoft announced SkyDrive support will come to Windows Phone 7 and just over two months since Microsoft doubled the available countries of their online Office service.
In an effort to promote the service and gain traction in the corporate world, Google Enterprise product manager Shan Sinha emailed Google Apps admins inviting them to a live webinar and 90-Day "Appsperience" program. The Appsperience program is designed to let companies try an unlimited evaluation of Google's collaboration applications for 90 days.
Are you more inclined to use Google Docs now that you can collaborate directly in Office? Is Google trustworthy for the enterprise business world?