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Office 2010 is suppose to feature some interesting collaboration tools that supposedly allows for real-time co-authoring of documents similar to what Google Docs offers. However, when me and my friend tried to make it work over SkyDrive we only got a dialog similar to this:

These are the steps we took:

  1. Create a new Word document on SkyDrive
  2. Share the folder containing the document with my friend
  3. Both open up the document for editing with the 'Open in Word' option.
  4. The second person to open this get greeted with the 'File in Use' dialog

I'm not sure what we're doing wrong - All documentation suggest that both SkyDrive and SharePoint are equally valid for this, and we reviewed all information on how to do this without success.

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@Who supposes that? This is exactly what get, when multiple users try open an excel file over a samba/cifs share since Office 2000 or even earlier. –  mbx May 16 '11 at 14:06
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2 Answers

From Word 2010 Coauthoring Guide :

Step One – Install Word 2010
Co-authoring only works in Word 2010, so it will need to be installed on all computers you want to co-author with.

Step Two – Set up a Microsoft SkyDrive account
This comes for free with any Windows Live account. More info at: http://windowslive.com/online/skydrive.

Step Three – Create a folder on your Skydrive
Log in and create a new folder in your Skydrive to store speeches in. We use one account for the whole team, with a separate subfolder for each team. It is recommended you use a “protected” folder rather than a public folder – otherwise your evidence will be accessible by anyone.

Step Four – Find Your SkyDrive WebDAV Address
This is the unique WebDAV identifier for your SkyDrive. There are several ways to find this, including using the built-in “Save To Web” function in Word 2010. I think the easiest method is to log in to your Skydrive in your web browser, and then take note of the URL. It will look something like this:
http://cid-425e2847g321hh2e.skydrive.live.com/home.aspx
The WebDAV address is the alphanumeric code after “cid” – "425e2847g321hh2e".

Step Five – Setup SkyDrive as a network drive
There are several ways to map a network drive in Windows. For ease of use, it is recommended you set up a “batch” file in the following step. To do it manually, open Windows Explorer, right click on “Computer” and select “Map Network Drive.” Select a drive letter (we use Z), and in “Folder” put:
\\docs.live.net@SSL\425e2847g321hh2e\DebateFolder.
Make sure to replace the WebDAV address above with your own alphanumeric code, and the name of the folder you created instead of “DebateFolder”.
When it asks you for a username and password, use the information you selected when you signed up for Skydrive, and add “@hotmail.com” to the username:

Username: yourusername@hotmail.com
Password: yourpassword

That’s it! If you did everything correctly, you will now have access to your Skydrive account as a separate drive on your computer, accessible through Windows Explorer or Word. Now, to use co-authoring, just put a Word file on the server and open it simultaneously with 2 separate computers. Both users should then be able to make edits.

Step Six – Create a .bat file
Since reconnecting the Skydrive on each computer can be tedious, it’s easiest to write a batch file to automatically connect. To do this, create a new text file on your computer called, for example, “Skydrive.bat” Make sure that the file extension is .bat, not .txt. Insert the following lines of text:

net use z: \\docs.live.net@SSL\425e2847g321hh2e\DebateFolder * /user:youraccount@hotmail.com start z:

Make sure to replace the WebDAV address, folder name, drive letter, and email address with your own information. Save the file somewhere convenient. Now, when you double-click the .bat file, it should prompt you for your password, then automatically open the network drive in explorer.

Problems that can prevent co-authoring are listed in Why can’t I edit the server file?.
The following is a shortened extract of the article :

Another author is using a different version of Word

The new co-authoring functionality is available only in Word 2010 and Word for Mac 2011.

The file format is not compatible with the co-authoring functionality

The co-authoring functionality can be used with .docx files

Edit permissions have not been granted

Other features that can’t be used with the co-authoring functionality

The co-authoring functionality is not available if the document is marked as final or if it includes either of the following:

  • Information Rights Management or Digital Rights Management
  • Encryption
  • ActiveX controls

The co-authoring functionality is not available if the document is a master document or a sub-document, or if the Store random numbers to improve Combine accuracy option is not selected.

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I have tried this, mounting the SkyDrive folder as a network drive, but it does not seem to make any difference - the same error crops up. –  Yi Jiang May 21 '11 at 1:05
    
I have added a list of some problems that may block co-authoring. –  harrymc May 21 '11 at 9:38
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Step 7: just use google docs :P –  KronoS May 25 '11 at 14:10
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After some pretty intense troubleshooting, I believe I've narrowed this problem down to being related to running 64-bit Word. I ran into this problem while attempting to test co-authoring functionality between a 32-bit installation and a 64-bit installation. Removing 64-bit Word from the equation resulted in co-authoring functioning as designed.

I have not tried collaborating between two 64-bit installations, so I can't confirm that 64-bit Word doesn't support co-authoring, but that's what I'm leaning toward (either that, or 64-bit Word only supports co-authoring between other 64-bit installations).

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