You'll soon be able to share your Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents online, thanks to plans announced today by Microsoft.

Microsoft Office Live Workspace is a free service that enables you to share documents created in Microsoft Office with your friends, co-workers or other people on the net. The catch is that you can't actually create documents online. You can only do create them on a PC with a copy of Microsoft Office 2003 or 2007 already on it. However Microsoft is offering enough storage space for around 1,000 documents.

Giving you the ability to share Microsoft Office apps is a deliberate shot across the bows of the good ship Google, whose own Google Apps is seen as an Microsoft Office competitor.

Microsoft Office vs Google Apps

The big difference between the two, of course, is that Google's mix of word processing, spreadsheet and calendaring software is available online, enabling you to create documents wherever there is internet access. Analysts expect Microsoft to do something similar with Office... eventually.

You can find out more about Microsoft Office Live Workspace in Microsoft's Software Services Strategy and Road Map press release.