Many “Office” applications, including word processing, are being implemented and offered through the Web. I was researching this very interesting fact, together with the various tools already available, when I stumbled upon the news that
In fact I hadn’t had even the time to open myself an account with Writely. Now, this happened when I had just discovered what Writely was… namely, a word processing Web service, that lets one write and manage documents on-line. All through a simple Web interface, no disc space, and no installation issues.
Now, this is extremely interesting, also because there are lots of other services waiting to be offered through the so-called Web 2.0 protocol: presentations (Ã la PowerPoint), spreadsheets, etc., and I feel like a believer in the power of the Web to free up users’ memory space and software requisites (and monopolies, among other things).
However, I had to leave my e-mail address to Writely, hoping to get an account later “in the spring”. So I checked other sites offering the same set of services, and I found a few worth mentioning here: goffice, thinkfree, numsum, among others.
Before checking these sites out, I’d like to say thanks to the article that showed them to me in the first place: it is “Ajax Office Review” by Dan McCrea. Apart from Dan’s great review, his article shows reference to the Ajax environment for Web 2.0 development, which I’ll write about in a next occasion.
The sites are:
www.goffice.com (Word-processing and spreadsheets now; later presentations);
www.thinkfree.com (MS Office-equivalent, or so);
Now, I’m very curious why Google bought Writely, and not another of these services-companies. Perhaps goffice will be bought by Yahoo! in the next weeks! Or has already been.
However, these services and the shift from desktop (private) work-space to Web (much less private in the best scenario) services. What about privacy concerns? Will we understand and value accordingly the trade-off we’re making? What will happen when Google will have at its fingertips all our hard drives (remember the GDrive scoop of a few days ago)? Make no mistake: I love Google’s approach and ideas, but the idea that somebody is peer-reviewing my e-mails (and later, my documents…) is somehow disturbing (and yet, I use gmail!).
Another service mentioned in the article is a sort of operating system and personal information system, which seems worth checking: www.EyeOS.org. I’ll explore it, and write about it next.