The example Riley uses is that of an application written to go along with the Olympics called Medal Tracker. It gathers current online data about medals awarded at the games in London and presents it in a task pane within an Excel spreadsheet. The data is also entered in the spreadsheet itself. A separate app called Bubbles takes the same data about the medals and represents the number of medals won by country with larger or smaller circles that are proportional to the number of medals won. A third app called Bing Maps can portray proportional circles on a map to show the location of countries that have won medals and give an idea of how their haul stacks up to others.
The same cloud application model applies to SharePoint, and there is a separate SharePoint app store as well.
Developers can submit applications to the store, and if they are approved by Microsoft, can be sold there at an 80-20 split, with developers getting 80%. Developers can also set the price within a range to be determined later and the licensing conditions, Riley says.
To try out Apps for Office and Apps for SharePoint, apply for an Office 365 Developer's pass.
Tim Greene covers Microsoft for Network World and writes the Mostly Microsoft blog. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Tim_Greene.
Read more about software in Network World's Software section.