Microsoft Office Live Beta

by Keith

Office Live Logo

As users are wondering when is Microsoft Office Live Beta going to be released to public, and how much will it change the image people view Microsoft, who had been a software giant in terms of Windows Operating Systems and its well-known popular Office Suite (Microsoft Office). As there have been several demands from users all over the world, wanting and waiting to try out the latest beta innovation from Microsoft, well they have been very careful with this release, intending to target enterprise and professional users, rather than home users at first. The good news is, some beta testers have been selected to try out its latest creation, but the bad news is, not everyone who submitted for the request get theirs answered.

Microsoft Office Live Beta, currently in Beta Stage, is available in three versions – Microsoft Office Live Basics, Microsoft Office Live Collaboration and Microsoft Office Live Essentials.

Live Basics: allows you to create an effective Web site and more,

  • Your own domain name (for example,
  • Easy-to-use design tools
  • Five e-mail accounts
  • Web site traffic reports

Live Collaboration: allows administrator to organize, manage and share information in a single online workspace with,

  • Simple online programs to manage customers, employees, and projects
  • Online workspace to share information and work with others more efficiently

Live Essentials: basically combines both attributes of Live Basics and Live Collaborations, means, providing what’s essential for business management, and allow business to grow online, no matter where you are,

  • Your own domain name and Web site
  • Easy-to-use design tools
  • 50 e-mail accounts
  • Site traffic reports and search engine (keyword) reports
  • Simple online programs to manage customers, employees, and projects
  • Online workspace to share information and work with others more efficiently

Before you try to sign up or register for Office Live, you must use Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE). It will not accept any other browser to access its internal site.

Though, according to the Office Live website, the beta is available free for public, the main problem is that users will need to have the Product Key which are sent via invitation from Microsoft, before you can participate in the program. Upon receiving the key, you will be asked to choose from the three version, which you would like to join.

During the process of the sign up and registration (for Beta), it is important to note that a CREDIT CARD information is required. According to the response from the website, it is meant to reduce fraud as well as to identify those customers who are legitimate entity. In additional, it also faciliate payments of additional domains (when required by customers) and also the monthly subscriptions when the beta testing ends.

Though Live Basics version may be free during and after Beta testing, Microsoft Office Live still insists that credit card information to be submitted before they allow users to register for the product and services.

During the one of the first few steps of the registration, if you choose Live Basics or Live Essentials, you will asked to select a domain name, i.e., which is part of the 2 packages, as your company domain name. Once accepted, Microsoft Office Live will send you a confirmation that registration is successful and you can start to create websites and email accounts. The website, however, will not be public for the next 24 hours, but users can start designing the website, using templates provided.

In the Email account section, each email accounts created comes with a 2GB storage space, powered by Hotmail server. In another word, if you have an email accout,, you can log in to the mail server via Hotmail site, but instead of using or address, is used instead.

Microsoft Office Live provides an easy-to-use design tool to help create and design a website. There are several themes to choose from, and editing each page is very easy. Unfortunately, users may not be able to edit the HTML codes via the website. Hence, it is like a wysiwyg type of page editor. Alternatively, there is an option for activating Front page, to use Microsoft Front Page as a website editor, instead of the editor provided by the website. However, some of the special designs may not be imported into Front Page if you choose to use Front page. Note that, by using Microsoft Office Live to host your website, despite with a different domain name, there is a default logo at the bottom of the site, which states “powered by Microsoft Office Live

For the Live Essentials and Live Collaboration package, the Business Applications and Shared Sites services are very useful tools especially for business and companies. It allow the creation of several user accounts with different level of access. Users with the right access priviledge could enter the site and view the company’s projects, calendars, sales, other employees status and company status. Depending on access level granted, users could also edit and change (or update) the profile in the site, so that every other users who could access, could view them instantly. In fact, just for these 2 services, I see Microsoft changing the company’s world of internet.

Given the opportunity to experience the Microsoft Live Office myself, I personally feel that Microsoft has taken the enterprise world by surprise. International enterprises, especially Multi-national Companies (MNCs), are best to benefit from Microsoft Office Live, when collaboration is absolutely important between 2 or more parties, situating at different parts of the planet. On the down side, as this is currently a beta project, the website server is pretty slow. I believe the bandwidth is quite limited and restricted at the meantime, given that it’s not a pubilic release. I’ll be looking forward to experience more from Office Live. THIS HAS TO BE one of THE COOLEST “Gadgets” of 2006.


  • During Beta Stage: FREE (credit cards still needed for registration)
  • After Beta Stage:
      Live Basics – FREE
      Live Collaboration – $29.95 per month
      Live Essentials – $29.95 per month

Example of a snapshot:

Office Live Application

3 reviews or comments

aleX-Files Says: March 2, 2006 at 1:14 am

I got one! And I chose the basic package.
I’m still figuring out what to do with it as there’s not much room for personalization in terms of site design. There are templates though you can choose from, very limited though.

reddeavl Says: April 30, 2006 at 8:46 pm

i have been usint this site and i am loving it withe its ease of use and the way you are able to go back and forth between pages without having to save and not having to wory about broken links like you will run in front page. the sit is also able to handle front page but i am unable to test it out by that as i do not have a computer conected with front page. but i think that it will work good. the site also hase various sites that you can let others acsees and read/edit/administor. the site is good if you have several people editing at once as you can edit from any where that has internet conection. i will and have recomended it to every one i know with it ease of use. as i know how hard a website is hard to create and maintain with verry little time to spend on the editing.

company formation india Says: June 1, 2010 at 8:17 am

Great articles & a Nice site…. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.

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