Zoho, The Best Place for Your Online Applications

Kristopher and Raju
Kristopher Tate and Zoho’s Raju Vegesna

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.

8 Replies to “Zoho, The Best Place for Your Online Applications”

  1. From a pure app-quality point-of-view, Zoho’s stuff is just better than Google’s.

    From a “oops, where’d my docs go?” point-of-view, Google probably win, due to their slightly better survival prospects.

    But Zoho are so much better that they’ll probably survive, even if they get bought. Or especially so.

    All I want from Zoho now is Page Creator and I’m fully ported.

  2. 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.

    I’ve actually had the opposite experience. The main reason I’ve stuck with Google is that I’ve found the application performs better. Loads faster, server errors are rarer, and it just feels more responsive when I’m using it.

    If they were to get bought by someone with a massive server infrastructure, I imagine those problems would go away. I’m just not sure who would though – Google’s built their own, I can’t imagine Microsoft doing it, and Yahoo doesn’t seem interested in the web office game, save for email.

    Zoho does have a better overall offering and featureset though.

  3. I’m partial to Google Apps, which I use for my company.

    However, I’ve played with Zoho and I have to say it has built a very nice, slick product. It’s really a close second for me.

    I think the important point, however, is the online office has arrived. If we’ve got two really strong offerings already — and I think there are a couple of other nice ones out there — then the concept works.

    Soon, no more Microsoft Office at all…

  4. Hey Thomas, I’m in the same boat as you. About a year ago I left behind using my traditional word processor (MS Word) for an online application. I gave up a lot of functionality in the process, but nothing I needed. I think this is the case for most users who use MS Word. Now, instead, I get to edit documents from my friend’s homes, from work, etc. I’m a user of Goodgle Docs, I have looked at Zoho about 8 months ago, maybe I’ll check them out again. (My only real wish for Google Docs is an API, so I can write some scripts to archive my written docs to my own harddrive just in case they loose them.)

    I’m waiting for all these web-based word processors to have offline syncing and creating of documents. When that occurs…who needs Word, except for big businesses that have complex macros and custom document generation needs.

    But for Mom and Dad, myself, all my friends. Once you can get offline document management, there’s little reason left to use a big word processor. Check out this company that’s creating Buzzword, a bit more interactive word proccessor.

    Plus, with these type of online apps, it’s so nice when you get a new computer that all you have to do is load up your Web Browser, and you’re off using it. No hours of software to install!

  5. Hmmm … zoho application … looks yummy!

    So where do I find out the pricing structure as I blog alot on behalf of churches and charities that might be able to afford the Zoho app moresoe than Microsquishes bulky solutions?

  6. keep in mind that google is quickly catching up with the ‘completeness’ of their offering. they just purchased a presentation app to include with apps. also there are bonus’s like the salesforce connection etc.

    in all fairness we too are bias – Calgoo http://www.calgoo.com has worked with google apps and calendar for some time and that relationship is continuing to evolve.

    end of the day i don’t feel you can go wrong with either, its just a matter of preference.

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