Google on Monday announced a beta test of a feature that will let Microsoft Office users sync their Office activity with Google Docs.
without leaving the Office interface. After they are synched, Google will provide a unique URL, which can be accessed from anywhere, even mobile devices, via Google Docs.
“Once in the Google cloud, documents can be easily shared and even simultaneously edited by multiple people, from right within Office,” Shan Sinha, group product manager, wrote in a blog post. “A full revision history is kept as the files are edited, and users can revert to earlier versions in one click.”
Sinha is the co-founder of DocVerse, a company Google acquired in March that allowed for real-time editing and sharing of Office documents. Over the last nine months, the DocVerse team has been “hard at work moving the DocVerse product to Google’s infrastructure,” Sinha wrote. The result: Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office.
“With Cloud Connect, people can continue to use the familiar Office interface, while reaping many of the benefits of Web-based collaboration that Google Docs users already enjoy,” he wrote. Though there are many Google Docs users, Sinha acknowledged that “many more of you still use Microsoft Office, because until recently, there weren’t many tools to help you collaborate and share with others.”
At this point, Google Cloud Connect will not be available on Macs “due to the lack of support for open APIs on Microsoft Office for Mac,” Sinha wrote.
The feature will be tested with Google Apps for Business customers, though it will eventually also roll out to consumers. After Google announced plans for the test earlier today, it was inundated with requests and is no longer accepting volunteers for its early testing program. Interested parties can fill out a form online and be notified when it’s in wider release.