Microsoft has released Office Web Applications (OWA). OWA comprises Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote that run in any browser. Users can create, edit and share notebooks, spreadsheets, documents and slideshows free of charge, whether or not they have Office software installed on their computers.

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SkyDrive is used as the storage location for your OWA documents with each user getting 25gig of free storage. One thing you will notice right away there is no Save option. The documents are automatically saved to your SkyDrive.

The functionality of the OWA applications while trimmed down from their rich client counterparts, is still quite impressive. I was able to create a PowerPoint very quickly that had a great looking template and 3D Smart Art:

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The Ribbons provide you a great sense of what features are available in each application:

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What is also great is that you can easily share these documents with co-workers, business partners, friends and family. And the ability to upload Office documents to OWA as well as open OWA documents with the desktop version of the Office applications is available if you have Office installed. You do have Office installed right?

First impressions? Lovin’ it! Way to go Office team!