Google's Cloud Connect plug-in is now on general release, having been on a limited beta since late last year.

The free plug-in allows Windows users with Microsoft Office 2003, 2007 or 2010 to synchronise Office documents with a Google account, keeping both the cloud and local files the same.

Once uploaded, Word, Excel and Powerpoint files can all be edited online using Google Docs; as Google Apps puts it, "Google Cloud Connect teaches your old docs new tricks".

Google Office

When working locally, the Google Docs link to your document appears in a Google Cloud Connect toolbar on the Office document so syncing the two as you go is a breeze.

Microsoft itself is hoping to take on the administrative cloud with Office 365, itself currently in beta. Microsoft's software, however, comes at a premium price.

Google probably hopes to take Microsoft down a peg or two with its easy to use, free version of what is essentially the same product.

No doubt many businesses will feel more secure opting for Microsoft's paid-for version though, particularly as Google makes no reference to document security when using Cloud Connect.

Via Tom's Guide