Web Office Suite: Who’s Leading The Pack? Read/WriteWeb has a good rundown comparing the major online office packages. They compare Google Apps, Microsoft Office Live, thinkfree, Zoho and Zimbra. As part of this article they mention the new release of Meeting, the latest public beta from Zoho.
Personally I gave up buying basic software (i.e. spreadsheets, word processing, presentation software, etc.) about a year ago. To me, when there are very strong online offerings for free, it just doesn’t make sense for me to buy software from Microsoft.
While some people need these apps on their computers, with EVDO my laptop is pretty much always connected to the internet and so online software works just fine for me. Not only does it work fine but it works better. Because I can use online sharing options etc.
Read/WriteWeb pretty much whittles the comparison down to two obvious choices, Zoho and Google Apps. Of the two they note that Zoho has the most complete offering so far.
Now. About a year ago when I started wth online apps I went with Google docs. More because they were big and Google than anything. And I never really bothered to check out Zoho.
But since then I’ve had a chance to try out Zoho and today that’s where all my online doc stuff is done. Now, at this point I have to disclose that Zoho is currently helping out the company that I’m CEO of, Zooomr. So bear that in mind. But. What I will say is that I still think Zoho’s the much better choice. Mostly because it’s faster and more intuitive. Where I had problems with Google’s spreadsheets before Zoho loads much faster. Even large spreadsheets are quick to load. So on a basic level I like Zoho better as a product.
But far, far, more important to me than even the fact that Zoho is to me the better choice from a software perspective, even much, much, more important is that they support the community. Of course they stepped in and helped us with Zooomr at an incredibly important time. But they also do things like advertise over on Gabe Rivera’s Techmeme site and make great efforts to support small online community oriented sites. And this means so much to me. That Zoho is not only the better choice for online apps but that they *also* have chosen to make a committment to help out small startups like Zooomr and support future technology makes them the hands down winner.
So if you are thinking about online applications, my vote goes to Zoho. They are the best online office suite at present but they also are a company with a big heart and an understanding of the importance of community.