July 23, 2006

Online Office Suite

I'm a fan of open source programs. I like the philosophy, and I *love* free software. But I think that some basic applications are moving off the box (that is, your personal computer / desktop / laptop / Mac / palm / etc.) and onto the web. There are already enough programs online to replace a full-fledged office suite, like Microsoft Office, OpenOffice.org, or WordPerfect Office. Here are just some of the many online applications:

Writely is an online word processor, and it can save to the .odt OpenDocument format, the .doc Word format, and even PDF. And these can be saved either online or to your hard drive.

Google Spreadsheet is an online spreadsheet program which can save a cvs or xls online or to your hard drive.

gOFFICE is an online office suite in itself. It has word processing, desktop publishing, and does spreadsheets. It has plans to do presentations, but it is unusable at this point.

AJAXLaunch is a website with online AJAX-based applications. Here's a list:

  • ajaxWrite - a word processor.
  • ajaxSketch - a drawing program.
  • eyespot - online video editing (crazy, ain't it?).
  • ajaxXLS - a spreadsheet app, but it's only a viewer at the moment.
  • ajaxTunes - an online media player that can play songs from your hard drive, or online. An optional for-pay mp3 storage "locker" is available.
  • ajaxOS - it's not online. It's an operating system that is "Ajax Aware" that means it can launch these online Ajax-based applications just like they were installed locally.

Zoho has a ton of apps most of which are free, but Zoho offers some other applications for a fee. Here are Zoho's free apps.

iRows is a web-spreadsheet service that supports XLS, CVS, and ODS formats.

Thumbstacks is an online presentation app.

Meebo is a multi-protocol in-browser Instant Messenger client. It supports AIM, ICQ, Yahoo Messenger, Jabber, GTalk, and MSN messenging.

And then there are some places, like WorkSpot or Goowy or YouOS - that have an entire OS in your browser. WorkSpot is a full version of Linux, and OpenOffice.org is included, although it may be an older version. WorkSpot has a free trial - but it only lasts 10 minutes. Goowy, on the other hand, is written entirely for online use, and it's completely free, but I don't think it has an office suite - although I'm sure it's being developed. YouOS is also entirely online, but it has a limited RTF word processor.

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1 comment:

Arvind said...

Thanks for mentioning Zoho, Chad! Zoho applications like Zoho CRM & Zoho Virtual Office have basic free versions too. The former has upto 3 users free & the latter offers upto 10 users free.