Online office systems consolidate

October 11, 2006

Google today will be announcing the merging of Writely (their online word processing application) with Googel Spreadsheets. Bringing the two services under one banner makes sense and heralds the start of a bigger push into the online office market for Google, possibly to prepare for Microsoft who are set to embark on a project to put a version of Works online. Google Docs & Spreadsheets (the catchy title for the new service) has a single admin area and sign on through the GMail accounts allowing you to see all your documents at a glance. Users can collaborate in real-time on documents with their colleagues and publish them to a web page or blog.

Also launching today is the newly merged Zoho suite of products. Zoho Virtual Office contains ten products including word processing, spreadsheets, email, task management, notes and contacts. What’s more Zoho is free for personal use! This is the most full featured online office tool I’ve yet to see and offers a lot more than the Google service. They added a single log-on for the suite of products last week so combining them under one banner was the logical next step. The email feature is brilliant and rather than giving you a free mail account it allows you to plug in as many POP accounts as you like.

I’m sure Google will have more products to join Docs & Spreadsheets but at the moment it looks like Zoho is leading the online office tools race. Microsoft is going to have some catching up to do, I imagine they will have an advantage as people will be familiar with the Microsoft interface, but they better launch out of beta and have a free version soon or they will have a lot of catching up to do!

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One Response to “Online office systems consolidate”

  1. Arvind Says:

    Thanks, Steve! Glad that you like Zoho 🙂


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