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Google Releases Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office in Limited Beta

Google last week announced Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office, a service that will let individuals synchronize and share their documents, spreadsheets and presentations with Google Docs, its cloud-based productivity suite.  

For now, Cloud Connect is available as an invitation-only beta, though the company has stopped accepting requests by those who want to test it. Google did not say when it will be commercially available.

"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," noted Shan Sinha, a Google group product manager, in a blog post.

"Users of Office 2003, 2007 and 2010 can sync their Office documents to the Google cloud, without ever leaving Office," Sinha added. "Once synced, documents are backed-up, given a unique URL, and can be accessed from anywhere (including mobile devices) at any time through Google Docs."

Sinha was a founder and CEO of DocVerse, which Google acquired in March. Before founding DocVerse, Sinha was a product manager in Microsoft's SharePoint and SQL Server groups. DocVerse developed a service that lets users share Microsoft Office documents on the Web.

Cloud Connect will only work with Office for Windows, not the Apple Macintosh versions, Sinha added. The reason is the lack of open APIs for Microsoft Office for Mac, he said.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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