Google said on Monday that it is releasing a new plug-in for Microsoft Office users that will automatically sync their documents to Google Docs.
The plug-in, named Cloud Connect, will be available today as part of a special preview program for Google Apps customers. The plug-in will work on Office 2003, 2007 and 2010 and allow users to automatically backup a copy of their Word documents into Google Docs. Google says its plug-in will backup documents to Google Apps each time a user saves a document in Microsoft Office. The functionality is similar to that of Microsoft’s Office Web Apps functionality and sync to SkyDrive, the company’s consumer cloud solution.
The plugin is powered by Google’s acquisition of DocVerse. Cloud Connect utilizes DocVerse’s productivity tool that Google acquired earlier this year. The tool allows multiple users to collaborate and edit Office docs. Multiple people can edit documents and have their changes synced at each save. Despite the collaboration features, the document editing isn’t real-time. Google will prompt users to resolve sync conflicts on multi-user documents.
Google’s Cloud Connect introduces a new toolbar into the Office UI which also provides a public Google Docs link to the document you currently have open. This enables authors to simply share the link for an online version of their document. The toolbar also displays the sync status of the document and a sync button to save the most recent changes. Changes will also be saved when a user clicks the ‘save’ button in Microsoft Office.
Google Apps customers can sign up for an early beta here. The feature will be slowly rolled out soon.