To The Cloud with Google and Microsoft

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Have you have been working on a document with your colleagues, either across the room or across the world, and have had the hassle of sending updated documents back and forth to each other? It’s quite a pain to do and you don’t always get the correct file. Google and Microsoft have teamed up to help solve this problem by integrating the Microsoft Office Suite 2003, 2007 and 2010 with Google Docs.

The new plugin for Microsoft Office, dubbed Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office, is now available to everyone with a PC; sorry no Mac support right now. The only downside is that it’s not free, unless you’re already using Google Apps for Business. Otherwise, it will cost you $50 per user per year for the Google Apps for Business Service. Google is running a promotion for a “90-day Appsperience”, allowing you to have unlimited use of services like Google Docs, Sites and Cloud Connect. There’s a flat fee of $7,000 for organizations of 50 to 500 users and $15,000 for organizations with 500 or more users.

Here’s a short video of the new service:

Cloud Connect will allow you to automatically sync files between multiple people and have all of those people be editing the same document at the same time. If two people are working on the same section, the plugin will ask you which version you want to keep, instead of automatically overwriting it. Previous versions of the document are also easily accessible, so you can always roll back your changes.

What do you think?