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Microsoft and Facebook Join Forces To Take On Google Docs

Yesterday, Facebook’s F8 conference created quite a wave of buzz when they announced the release of the Open Graph API. Personally, I’m very excited about this from a marketing point of view. But, there was another announcement that was just as exciting to me that didn’t get nearly the same coverage as Open Graph: Facebook and Microsoft have become unlikely bedfellows, rolling out the new Docs.com site.

The short version: a personalized document sharing site that lets you create, upload and share Office files with your Facebook friends. I haven’t seen a more obvious shot across the bow of Google Docs, and I think this site will only pick up speed as more people discover it.

The site is slick and simple, with headers that will let you see your docs, your friends docs, or add a new doc. The “Add a Doc” section offers to ways to share: either you can upload an existing document from your computer, or you can create a new document using the online version of Word, Excel or PowerPoint.

It’s interesting to see how the new Facebook Open Graph works in all of this…there on the right side are pictures of your friends that are already on Docs. It ads the very personal feel that Facebook is trying to push throughout the web.

You can visit the site and download existing homepage docs, but unfortunately full participation is still limited to beta users that have received an invite code. That means that until you are in the beta test group, you cannot actually upload anything…too bad.

I should also mention that I tried this site in four browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Chrome. It worked great in all of them except Chrome initially; I got a compatibility error in the Google-born browser. Interestingly, since I first tried (and failed) to do this in Chrome a couple of hours ago, things have changed…it now works. So much for my original theory that they were trying to completely lock out all Google products compatibility.

Give Docs.com a look and sign up for the Beta so we can all collaborate when it rolls out completely! Docs is also on Twitter, and naturally they have a Facebook page. If you want more information straight from the source, check out their blog or FAQs.

I would love to hear what you think of this service…should Google be worried?

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By Matt Singley

Personal: husband to Alison, father to four amazing kids. I used to live a fast but enjoyable life in Los Angeles, now I have chickens on acreage in Charlotte, North Carolina. Just a bit different. I'm an advocate for cycling as much as you can and eating as cleanly as you can afford. Professional: I'm the CEO of Singley + Mackie, a creative digital agency that serves well-known lifestyle and entertainment companies around the world. Clients include Microsoft, Samsung, Hulu, YP and others. If you want to find the more-professional me, go to http://singleymackie.com