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oneDrum Brings Real-Time Collaboration to Microsoft Office; Mac Version To Hit Beta Later This Year

A UK company has launched a free application that allows users to collaborate on Microsoft Office files in real time similar to the way they can with Google Docs. oneDrum from a company by the same name is being promoted as a "peer-to-peer desktop application" specifically for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Edits made through oneDrum appear in real time when working online. Offline edits synchronize when connectivity is reestablished. The program includes a chat function to allow users to communicate with each other as they're working on a common document.

"Our goal has always been to reset people's understanding both of what a networked application is and how it should be built," said CEO Jasper Westaway. "We designed oneDrum to be insanely powerful and with as few compromises as possible. Users want files to be accessible and editable offline whilst co-authoring, file sharing and chat messaging are all experiences that people have become accustomed to and need for productivity."

Currently, oneDrum works on all versions of Office in a Windows environment. The company said a Mac version for doing file integration would be beta-tested later in the year.

According to Westaway, the company will release a subscription version of the program in February 2012 with extra features, including backup to the cloud and Web access to files.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.