Google, yeah those guys, have launched their online word processing and spreadsheet application, called, guess ... Google Docs (eesh...anyhow). These are in direct competition to MS Office’s Word and Excel.
There are 2 signficant advantages to the google applications:
- the first is that they are online. This allows you access to your documents from any computer, not just the one you used to write it. It also moves writing collaboration to a new, online realm that prior to this launch, consited of edits in Word and emails back and forth containing the changes. Very cool.
- FREE. ’nuf said.
Obviously there are some drawbacks as well, like less features (this could easily have gone in the plus list as well), lack of data files on your hard drive (again, this could have gone in the plus list), online connection is a requirement, gmail account is also a requirement (email me if you need one) and interface issues. However, given that this is v1 of the applications, look for all of the above to improve.
Get used to it folks, it will be an online world before long and your computer will just be the dumb terminal for accessing your data. Again, you can argue that this is a good thing. :)