Office Live Workspace is in beta release now. Unlike Google apps it isn’t a truly online collaboration package, more a service to allow central storage and document sharing between users. It seems they’ve gone down to distinct lines – full functionality offline and cut down functionality (a la Google apps or less) online. So it’s more of a roaming access solution than a collaborative offering per se.
David Berlind reviews the offering in detail and concludes that the cut down functionality is a strategic decision taken by MS to assess the hosted productivity space and react as things develop.
My read is that this is a hedge-your-bets move by MS and quite smart – from here they can either move to a completely hosted suite, or develop parallel offerings on and offline.