Microsoft Office Web Apps will bridge the gap between your desktop Office documents and the web, but it's currently in an invite-only preview. However, the always clever Amit Agarwal at weblog Digital Inspiration discovered a simple trick that'll score you an invite.
As you can see in the video above, all you've got to do is log into Microsoft's SkyDrive using a Live.com account (if you don't already have one, registering is free) and then uploading any Microsoft Word doc. When the upload completes, SkyDrive will ask you if you want to join the Office Web Apps preview program (see the screenshot below).
Once you've joined, you'll be able to view any uploaded Word doc, Excel spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation from your browser in Microsoft's (currently barebones) online offerings. Word documents are currently read-only, but Excel docs and PowerPoint presentations are fully editable. If you're eager to try out the preview, this simple trick does the job nicely.
Australian editor note: I tried this trick and had no luck — which might be because it's US-only, or might be because Microsoft has been overwhelmed by requests. If you get it working from an Australian Live account, let us know in the comments.
Get Access to Web-based Microsoft Office Apps Now! [Digital Inspiration]