Google this week unveiled a limited beta test for its upcoming Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office tool, giving its customers a way to utilize its Google Docs service with Microsoft's popular Office suite in a fairly seamless fashion. The tool is billed as a way for Google customers to more easily migrate, over time, from Microsoft Office to the less capable (but free) Google Docs.
"Google Docs [is] 100% web: It provides real-time collaboration in the browser, with no software to install, manage or upgrade," Google Group Product Manager Shan Sinha wrote in a blog post announcing the tool. "With Cloud Connect, people can continue to use the familiar [Microsoft] Office [applications], while reaping many of the benefits of web-based collaboration that Google Docs users already enjoy."
Google Cloud Connect works with Microsoft Office 2003, 2007, and 2010, providing users with a way to sync documents to Google's Docs-based services. Because these documents are stored in the cloud, they can be accessed from anywhere, using multiple devices, and they can be shared with others—each document gets a unique URL—and retain a version history.
Google Cloud Connect is a rebranded version of DocVerse, which Google purchased back in March. It's currently available only in a limited beta, but you can sign up to be notified when the tool is more broadly available.