Web-based office suite utilities have been getting a lot of attention for the past year or so, for very good reason. They incorporate most of the functions of a stand-alone office application software but with the added convenience of instant accessibility anywhere where there’s an internet connection, as well as cross-compatibility with most leading stand-alone applications. The bigger ones even have most small applications integrated in, giving the user the advantage of added functionality in a world that is dictated by deadlines and quick information processing.
Overall Product Review Evaluation Richard MacManus delivered a great and comprehensive review of the products in his article, making sure that the readers are well aware of what to expect even before clicking the links for each product provided. He also showed an obvious sense of expertise in his review, pointing out the specific strengths of each of the featured applications so the reader can instantly make a decision, if necessary, on whether a particular application is suited to his or her needs. Overall, a thoroughly spot-on and informative review.
Product Impressions as an Alternative to Stand-Alone Suites While web-based utilities may not be considered as replacements for the more complete and robust stand-alone applications, at the very least they are great alternatives to them. Most web-based office application utilities incorporate the most basic (and most utilized) functions of an established stand-alone Office application but without the hefty price tag that usually comes with it. Ready accessibility is also a great factor to consider as well. Descriptions of Visited Sites
Several of the product sites provided in the article have become dead links either due to the other companies buying them (such as the case with Writely which was bought by Google) or the company itself discontinuing the application (e. g. , JotSpot Live). Of the sites which are still functioning, however, all have favored functionality over design. Google, for example, opted to list all the services in a simple format, assuring quick and easy navigation. 37Signal (makers of Writeboard and Basecamp utilities) also has a more spartan look.
Only Zibra has a more corporate feel to it. Product Trials Of the products checked and tested, Google is clearly the hand-on winner if only for the fact that it has incorporated nearly most of the other web-based office applications offered by the other products. Basecamp is also a good choice as it has a comprehensive collection of office management tool, with a navigation that is only slightly more complex than Google. The Writeboard, however, only supports text format and very limited document editing. Success Prospects
Google is obviously the most successful of the listed products and will probably continue to dominate the market as it incorporates nearly everything the others have to offer. Writeboard will most probably be the least to be noticed, owing to its severely limited functionality. Product Incorporation on Daily Tasks With the easy accessibility and practically cost-free nature of these products, it is no question that I will be utilizing them in the future. They are indispensable tools, especially for students and professionals who need quick access to their works.
Using this Internet review mechanism as the session long project for this course has been a great way to involve the students in actual, hands-on exploration and review of several professional websites, allowing us to fully understand the purpose of each without making the assignment too technical and overly complicated.
MacManus, Richard. (2006). Web-Office Suite: best of breed products. Web 2. 0 Explorer. ZDNet. com. Retrieved December 14, 2007, from http://blogs. zdnet. com/web2explorer/? p=123