Despite Google Docs embrace by numerous charities, corporations and road warriors (thanks to Google’s ever-so-helpful web app) there are still many individuals who refuse to leave the domain of Microsoft Exchange.
In order to make it easier for users to embrace the cloud, Google is allowing business users to sync changes from their office suite to Google Docs online.
Users of Office 2003, 2007 and 2010 can sync their Office documents to the Google cloud, without ever leaving Office. 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. And because the files are stored in the cloud, people always have access to the current version.
Once in the Google cloud, documents can be easily shared and even simultaneously edited by multiple people, from right within Office. A full revision history is kept as the files are edited, and users can revert to earlier versions in one click. These are all features that Google Docs users already enjoy today, and now weâ€™re bringing them to Microsoft Office. (Official Google Docs Blog)
Google is apparently allowing its Business customers to test this out first, although they are promising to make their plugin available for the rest of the users in the future.
While the Microsoft Office sync is long overdue, Google has been rather quiet on whether or not they will roll out a similar feature for OpenOffice fans (which could now be in limbo thanks to a certain lawsuit).
Although OpenOffice has released an extension to import/export documents to Google Docs, although truth be told the extension has been “ratherÂ disappointing” to use (not to mention very buggy).
Hopefully the search engine giant will consider syncing with other competing office suites as well, as it could help Google not only help introduce more users to Google Docs overall, but help the company gain marketshare in the office suite wars.