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Android receives Microsoft Office web apps

Microsoft this week unveiled a few updates to Office Web Apps, the Web-based companion to Redmond's full Office suite that made its debut in 2010.

Among the expected updates is the ability to access and edit Office docs on Android tablets via Chrome.

"The full power of the Office Web Apps is already available for Windows 8 tablets and iPads and we will be extending the same capabilities to Android tablets via mobile Chrome browser support," Microsoft said in a blog post.

Meanwhile, Microsoft said it will add real-time co-editing to Office Web Apps for easier collaboration. Once added, users will see who's online and edits as they happen without having to refresh.

"This is a subtle change, but a great enhancement to enable even richer collaboration," Microsoft said.

The update has started rolling out to the PowerPoint Web App (see video above), and Microsoft promised the feature for other apps in the next few months.

Meanwhile, Redmond said it has "prioritized features that make it easier to work via the Web, including things as simple as adding find and replace in Word Web App to improving the general experience by speeding up launch times and making file management simpler."

The updates, Microsoft said, are part of its pledge to boost user experience, social and collaboration, and broad cross platform browser support within Office Web Apps.

"Since we first launched Office Web Apps, browser technologies and speeds have advanced and the development infrastructure has matured, making the Web a better platform on which to build Office and more quickly innovate on the Web," Microsoft said. "With these improvements, we're better able to deliver a comprehensive productivity experience with the Office Web Apps."