Microsoft offered up a Technical Preview of its web-based Office offerings yesterday, but the invites are long since gone. The good news is that anyone who can get a Windows Live sign-in will eventually have access to stripped-down office apps.
ReadWriteWeb notes that a limited preview is being offered to “partners” at the moment, with greater beta availability coming this fall. In the preview, Word documents are read-only, but can be shared and commented on, while PowerPoint and Excel’s web versions allow for some basic online editing by anyone the creator gives access to.
Windows Live blogger Brian Hall notes that the apps will have more functionality in their final releases, and utilise the free Windows Live SkyDrive as a storage and sharing framework for the documents.
Eventually, Office Web Apps will be available to anyone using Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger and other Live services.
Want a shot at earlier availability? Sign up for a beta preview at the Office 2010 site.