Microsoft Office Documents on SkyDrive

Because the college where I work uses Microsoft’s Hotmail system for student email accounts, I thought I’d take a look at the just released service that allows you to put your Microsoft Office documents in the cloud via the SkyDrive service (check out the Windows Blog for an official announcement). Logged in to live.com in Firefox, I created a Word document in my browser with the intent of sharing it with some team members. Here are some quick problems I ran into:

  • Silveright continues to be crashy. After I logged out of live.com and tried to view the document via the public URL I created for it, it crashed each browser I tried it in (Firefox, Chrome, and IE). I uninstalled and then reinstalled Silverlight, which seemed to fix the problem (I shouldn’t have to do this, right?) I’m not sure if you need to have Silverlight installed before you can view any Office Docs in this new service, but if you do, then that requirement 
  • When I tried to download and view a document in Word 2003 (I’ve got the .docx converter plug installed already), I got an unreadable mess.
  • The formatting I set up in the editing mode got screwy in the online viewing mode (lines that I had pushed to the right with a single tab stop were suddenly right justified)
  • I couldn’t figure out how to to share the document in a way that others could edit it. Maybe you can give rights to edit to people but then those people have to create Live.com accounts to edit.
I think I’ll be sticking to Google Docs for a while for collaborative editing of docs.