For years now Microsoft Office has been the market leader for productivity suites providing reliable, professional service across a wide range of programs. Excel, Word and Outlook are programs familiar to even to non-computer users and the format and design of the entire suite is instantly recognisable to the layman.

And now, in addition to these great services, Microsoft Office is forging ahead into the online world with Microsoft Office Live.

Office Live is comprised of two services: Live Workspace and Live Small Business. Workspace is the more commonly used of the two, its shared document facility being highly valuable to professionals and schoolchildren alike.

One of the greatest benefits of Office Live Workspace is that it does away with the need for physical storage solutions like flash drives and CDs. Backing up crucial work to these devices leaves a trail of information in various different formats that runs the risk of loss or corruption. Storing work on Office Live enables the user to access their files simply and efficiently even on computers where Office is not installed. All that is required to view documents is a valid web connection and compatible browser.

Large groups can access the information on the workspace simultaneously via a password-protected process, although documents can only be edited by bringing them up in Microsoft Office. Workspace is fully compatible with all programs in the Office suite as well as numerous other file types.

Whilst Office Live Workspace is intended to be utilised by a broad range of user Office Live Small Business is designed specifically for non-technical users seeking to create a professional, polished website for their business.

A well-designed, easily navigable website is an absolute must for any aspiring business yet there is still the sense among many professionals that web design is convoluted and overly complex. Microsoft Office Live Small Business aims to prove that with the right tools and templates web design is a skill that any intelligent user can master.

The service includes many invaluable aids for the budding site designer such as templates for page layout and navigation as well as the facility to upload HTML code to fully customize their site. The creation of domain names is also made simple and users are able to register up to 100 email accounts free of charge.

The two sides of Microsoft Office Live come together in the Team Workspace function within Office Live Small Business. Here a project site is created which members of the project team can access to view documents, download files and edit reports.

Microsoft Office Live takes everything that makes Microsoft Office so highly regarded and places them in an online setting for the ease of convenient collaboration. The services that Office Live provide can really streamline the collaborative process which is why a training course in both Office Live and Office would greatly enhance the possibilities open to the professional user. Armed with the knowledge to create attention grabbing, clear websites and share them effectively with clients and colleagues there could be no limit to the growth of your business.