Phil Sim

Web, media, PR and… footy

Real Online Office Suite Getting Closer

A good while ago, on the acquisition of a new laptop, I decided to see how long I could go with AJAX apps before I gave in and installed a desktop office suite.

I made it a couple of months before the lack of a decent AJAX spreadsheet broke me. Things are much different now with the likes of Google Spreadsheet, ZohoSheet and others.

In fact, I doubt that would be the breaking point for me these days. Rather, I’ve kind of fallen out of love with my 3G datacard which just gives me too much grief and until my laptop features always-on internet I doubt I’ll be ready to give away my desktops apps.

BUT hopefully when Wimax rolls around or I get around to buying a laptop where the 3G is built in and therefore hopefully delivers a better experience (in Australia, Lenovo have just this and I’ll have to try and get my hands on one to try it out) then online apps will become more than just a secondary suite of tools.

When that happens, I’m hoping we’ll finally have a real suite of tools. Now, you would all probably know Zoho, who already have a collection of the various tools, but until they really work together like their desktop cousins I can’t really come to describe them as a suite.

But we’re getting there. Zoho recently announced that you could now take your ZohoSheet spreadsheets and embed them into ZohoWriter or ZohoShow. It’s a good start. Single sign-on is supposedly also coming.

I hope Zoho is working on some kind of single file system that ties it all together. I’ve never been a fan of the way ZohoWriter handles files and I still much prefer the Writely method of doing it but what I really want is to have an online folder where I can collate all my word documents, spreadsheets, powerpoints, online just like I do on my local machine.

Then, if I’m really lucky that online file repository will seamlessly replicate with my local drive and then we’re cooking with gas.

BTW, very surprised that Sheet hasn’t yet followed Google’s lead and enabled simultaneous editing, especially as its enabled similiar functionality in ZohoWriter. I’m sure it’s coming, but this type of key functionality isn’t something I’d expect the very nimble crew at Zoho to get away with this, for this amount of time.

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5 Responses

  1. Handy says:

    Was pondering similar thoughts about online office apps and storage a few weeks ago. You might find the article interesting?

  2. Srinidhi says:

    Hi Phil,

    We at Zoho have very much recognized the need for having a “single system of tying” files/documents together too, and feel that the first ‘small’ but ‘important’ step towards it is enabling Single Sign On (which is to roll out very shortly) – for easy one-point access to all Zoho web services.

    But we know that it is only the first step, and are therefore working towards creating an integrated online system which will enable organizing and managing the different files created using various Zoho web services (something similar to what Windows Explorer means to the desktop).

    Zoho Drive/Explorer is a step in this direction and we are also working on other ideas.

    Simultaneous editing is on the cards too, and we’re definitely looking to support it when we roll out future versions.

    Thank you for highlighting these very important points.

    Zoho Team

  3. […] Today, Srinidhi from Zoho revealed in a comment on Squash that Zoho was building an online file explorer that will pull together files from all of the different Zoho online services. […]

  4. A really important step in this stuff is that Writely, for one, now recognises common keyboard shortcuts inside its editing window.
    Control-B, for example, Bolds text. That is a huge breakthrough for those of us who edit a lot of text because it makes the application far more intuitive than was previously the case.

  5. […] Phil “Squash” Sim tried living a life without downloading an Office Suite. Bookmark to:          […]

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