Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Writely, the free online Word Processor (of my dreams?)

I am using two computers, one for home, and one for office. On my office computer I have a Debian Linux, and Windows on both. I am currently thinking about buying a Mac.

One of the biggest problems I face is moving around Documents. I am too forgetful to carry around a memory stick, and I don't wanna look like a computer geek with an USB stick on his key chain ( as it occurred to me just now, I can also lose my key-chain), so USB option is closed. Then there is also the tiring business of keeping these files synchronized...

Most of the people I know are not like me and they are using a single computer, a single Operating System (OS) (mostly Windows). But the problem of carrying around documents are also valid for them even if they do not notice it. Especially when they are on the run. How many times have you called a friend to log in to your e-mail account to ask for the reservation code of your electronic hotel reservation? I did more than once...

Then there is the collaboration thing. Have you tried the track changes feature of Microsoft Word, that is supposed to make the dream of online global office dream come true? If you tried, you know that it is far from realizing this dream, if you have not, I would recommend you not to, and try the out the recent online service that I came across...

It is called Writely, and it is a very elegant Free Online Word Processing Software. It has very basic functionalities, yet these functionalities are well implemented. I prefer its Google-type spell checking 1000 times to the Microsoft Office version. You can save your files as word, pdf, or text file, or publish them on your blog, just like I will be doing in few minutes. With the help of Writely you wont need to care about the USB stick and the versioning of your documents, and be able to reach them everywhere where you got Internet connectivity.

Writely was bought up by Google recently, but this is not obvious from the website. I think they want to keep a low profile before they release the final version. With the Online Spread Sheet program that it rolled out recently, Google is building up a real strong office suit, which will be an important weapon in the battle against Microsoft. Let's see where te battle will take the lives of the ordinary computer users...

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