We're out of catchy ways to talk about new Google tools that work to keep you from going Microsoft, so this time we'll just come out and say it: The Google Docs Viewer now displays Microsoft Word attachments in your browser.
Let's say someone sends a message to your Gmail account with a Microsoft Word document attached:
Now you don't have to download, save, and open in Microsoft Word to view it. In other words, you don't need Microsoft Word. At all.
As you're viewing the document in your browser, you can also edit it:
The Google Docs viewer also allows users to view .pdf, .ppt, .docx and .tiff files in your browser, all you have to do is click the "View" link.
It may not seem like a new or super cool feature, but previously Word documents were only viewable as HTML, and DOCX for Microsoft Word 2007 was not supported. Additionally, viewing files right in your browser is fast, and saves your downloads folder an unnecessary headache.
Late last year Google announced that the Google Docs Viewer OpenBox Service was also available to be used to view these document types in your Box account. We haven't heard whether this will now include Word files, but we assume so.
We played around with the online editor for a bit and found it's pretty close to working in Word. Try it out yourself and let us know what you think!