A public beta this calender year !
… When Microsoft Office releases its web applications into beta this year, it has a good shot of surpassing Google Docs right off the bat: The mainstream reliance on Microsoft Office makes Microsoft web apps a natural extension.
"I think that one of the things that makes us a little different is that we’re really trying to make the experience between going offline to online and online to offline as seamless as possible," Michael Schultz, the Director of Microsoft Office Live, told me in a Skype interview from his office in Redmond, Wash. earlier this month. The merging last week of Windows Live and Office Live reflects into a single online portal reflects that. …
I asked him about the alpha testing of Microsoft Office 14, but Microsoft is still tight-lipped about the new improvements. "When the time comes when we can talk a little bit more about that, I’m sure folks like you will be some of the first to know, and we’d be excited to come back and talk about it," he said. You can read CNET’s article on Office 14’s alpha testing here.