Narain is the founder & CEO for 360 Degree Interactive, a web services firm based in Chennai, India. This blog is about his personal views on Web 2.0, RoR, Social networking,Digital media, interactive advertising, SaaS, Service Oriented Architecture, India Inc, rural education, Web standards, mobile 2.0 and more.

Monday, September 5

Office-on-the-GO: Web based Office productivity Apps roundup

When I first saw the HTML Text formatting tabs on blogger, I was wondering, why not somebody extend this functionality to create a small word pad kinda application. With the launch of Google Talk, I believe certainly that some will work on the office. Microsoft Office is the defacto toolset for office productivity worldwide, although there are attempts like Star Office, Open Office, 602 Text and couple of other small players. Since Microsoft's Word file format (.doc) is the most widely used file format, and Microsoft notoriously being a closely locked proprietary technology company, the file format transformation on the web is difficult. I am brutally proved wrong by 4 companies.

1. ThinkFree - ThinkFree is an organisation using JSP & Java Server has created a desktop equvilent of Office and they are offering a free online version of their product ported on to their Java servers. To use the functionality you need to have a free signup and you are asked to download J2SE from Sun Micro Systems to be installed in your machine. Once you installed and restarted your machine, you are on. I dont' any difference from a desktop version in comparison with the web version. It's flawlessly done. Known UI, faster working and even provides a 30MB free storage of your files. You can create word documents, spreadsheets, presentation, pdf files and even post it to your blogger. Amazing piece of work. Online version is in beta.

2. gOffice - gOffice, I thought for a second is from the Google's staple. gOffice provides Word, Spreadsheet, Presentation functionality. Developed in .NET environment, gOffice utilisese the typical HTML based Editor kinda working environment for opening, editing, creating and saving documents. Free Signup and provides a $1 business usage fee. Only Word processing is available presently and others are not available for public. Free Signup

3. Writely - Writely is a web application developed. Using ASP.NET with .NET server functionality, Writely has prepared a online collaborative tool for Word. You can create, open, edit word files and share it with other users for reviewing, tracking and cross checking. Not available publically yet. Online version is in beta. Free Signup

4. InstaColl - I have written already about the poster boy of Indian internet era, Sabeer Bhatia's new found company. InstaColl is not exactly a Office suite, but it integrtes well with Microsoft Office to offer collaboarative features like reviewing, tracking, remote desktop management and so on. Although this is not a Office suite replacement, instaColl chat sessions are more powerful than writely's tool, since they are real-time and provides remote desktop management. The catch I see is you need to download and install the InstaColl chat manager. Download InstaColl

This gives you a fair idea of Office alternatives available presently online. I still believe, Open Office can certainly go in for a web model and provides certainly better functionality and releases API's. With that I believe, developers can write additional functionality and integrate with the online version and provide better working atmosphere online. It's one more time, Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates needs to go back to their drawing board.


At 12:59 AM, Blogger vente said...

Nice blog. Have you seen your google rating? BlogFlux It's Free and you can add a Little Script to your site that will tell everyone your ranking. I think yours was a 3. I guess you'll have to check it out.

Computer News
Yahoo Boasts Size of Its Search Engine Index

Trying not to include any phallic analogies, Yahoo this week announced that its overall search engine index is much larger than Google’s and is the most in depth index of ‘web objects’ on the search market. On the Yahoo Search Blog, Yahoo disclosed that its index now includes 19.2 billion web documents, 1.6 billion images and more than 50 million audio and video files - over 20 billion items.

Yahoo is usually shy about disclosing the size of its search index, but the Yahoo Search Blog is celebrating its first year anniversary and Tim Mayer thought that somewhat of a retrospect was in order - since Yahoo has grown into its own as a search engine powerhouse over the past 365 days.

From the YSearchBlog : While we typically don’t disclose size (since we’ve always said that size is only one dimension of the quality of a search engine), for those who are curious this update includes just over 19.2 billion web documents, 1.6 billion images, and over 50 million audio and video files.

Note that as with all index updates we are still tuning things so you’ll continue to see some fluctuation in ranking over the next few weeks.

Greg Sterling of the Kelsey Group, however, makes the distinction of quality over quantity What I, Joseph User, care about is accuracy, quality and relevance. The available index does matter in terms of bringing me a sufficient quantity of results. (And if I’m looking for something really obscure, having that thing in the index is obviously important, which may go to size.).

But there’s a major case of diminishing returns—there’s already way too much information online for people to assimilate. Throwing more volume at me does nothing but make my eyes glaze over. What I want is enough relevant results.”

Index schmindex, the moral of the story is what Yahoo has accomplished over the past year and what the next 12 months will bring with not only Yahoo Search, but the Yahoo Publishers Network, Yahoo LinkSpots, Yahoo Pay Per Call, and Site Explorer. What has Yahoo accomplished over the past year? Well, here’s Tim’s rundown :
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