Friday, December 12, 2008

Software, Webware and Vaporware

I've blogged extensively about Web 2.0 and Office 2.0 - they are probably among my favorite topics. While this article from Webware gives a decent overview of the big three in the online office space, it really misses the boat on a couple key points. First - the choice is presented as an either or. Either we keep MS Office or we ditch it in favor of Webware. I don't think that's the choice we're faced with. Instead, Office 2.0 is a supplement to our offline office - great for smaller, simpler projects when MS Office is overkill and particularly when collaboration is important. Collaboration is probably MS Office most glaring weakness and where Office 2.0 steps in and completes the picture. Number 2.0 key point is features. While the big three online don't have the full feature set of MS Office they've gotten better - and are getting better every day. That ability to almost continuously iterate and update is a tremendous advantage that these online products have over offline office. The gap is closing fast and Microsoft should be worried. Right now we have three categories: software (MS Office), webware (Google, Zoho, Thinkfree, etc) and vaporware (MS Office online). Is it time to ditch Office and move online? | Webware
Microsoft has enjoyed a stranglehold on the Office suite market for well over a decade. But now that the Web is slowly becoming a quasi-replacement for the desktop, Microsoft Office has some stiff competition in the form of online Web Office apps. And although they may not appeal to the spreadsheet maven that relies on Excel's power, each offers functionality that diminishes the need for Microsoft's products.

So, in the time between now and when the software giant delivers the much-anticipated online version of Office, our options are far from few. Here are three that might fit your needs:

Google Documents

ThinkFree Online

Zoho Office Suite

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