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Office Web Apps won't work offline

In an interview, Microsoft senior VP Chris Capossela tells CNET News that users will need a desktop version of Office to edit documents without an Internet connection.

SAN FRANCISCO--Microsoft's forthcoming Office Web Applications will allow users to create and edit spreadhseets, presentations and Word documents through a browser--but only so long as there is an active Internet connection.

In an interview Monday, Microsoft senior vice president Chris Capossela said that, at least initially, the browser based versions of Excel, Word and PowerPoint won't have an offline mode.

"In the first generation we are certainly looking at having them be connected," he said. "For offline usage of course the Office suite is incredibly powerful." (See YouTube video below for his full comments on the matter. Apologies in advance for the bad sound quality.)

Google has been working to add an offline ability to Google Docs, while Zoho was even earlier to add the ability to work within a browser while offline.

Capossela's comments came following the launch of Microsoft Online, the company's hosted versions of Exchange and Sharepoint.

Microsoft confirmed at last month's Professional Developer Conference in Los Angeles that it was bringing to market browser-based versions of its Office applications. The company has said that a technology preview version should be available still this year.