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While it’s not trendy or cool to be fans of products from stable of Microsoft, they do make some awesome apps both for home and enterprise use. They deserve a pat on the back for taking computers to the masses and making them more user friendly. Windows operating system and the Office productivity suites are two path breaking software products that every living soul knows about.

Of late, Google is chewing into Microsoft Office’s market share with its free and ultra cheap versions of Google Docs. While still not a billion dollar business, online Office suites are gaining traction and Zoho and Google Apps are two clear leaders in this space. Forced into a corner, Microsoft has launched it’s own version of online Office apps. Is it as awesome and powerful as the desktop counterpart?


It’s about time when most students have returned to their schools, colleges or other places of education. Whilst there’s many desktop apps available to help in the education field, it’s sometimes hard to find viable online alternatives.

Online alternatives to popular desktop apps offer a way of working entirely online and therefore being able to access your work from anywhere without the need to be emailing or upload files every time you make an edit. This is becoming increasingly important, with new laptops and operating systems such as the Macbook Air and Chrome OS, that have reduced storage and a more cloud-based storage going mainstream. (Well, maybe not Chrome OS, but the Macbook Air is certainly getting positive reviews).


I don’t know about you, but I haven’t used Microsoft Office on my desktop in the past year and half. That’s an interesting nugget of information considering the fact that I write for a living and write about 25,000 words a month. So where does all of this writing happen? On a moleskin notebook? No, Google Docs.

Office is Microsoft’s cash cow, a vertical that has seen no real competition for decades. Thanks to Google, your documents have been liberated from the desktop prison and made available anywhere there’s an internet connection. Did I forget to mention the fact that you can edit a document with multiple people from across the globe in real time? Well, I just did.

The slow but steady exodus of its userbase has made Microsoft rethink its strategy and resulted in the launch of After the break let we’ll take a look at how Microsoft Office in the cloud can enhance your productivity.


As we’ve stated many times before, web apps are growing in popularity and increasingly taking over their desktop counterparts. Google Documents is now widely used for text, presentation and spreadsheet documents, even though it doesn’t offer the extensive features desktop apps usually do. SlideRocket is a great example of an extensive presentation web app that arguably rivals desktop apps.

Personally, I use Google Docs when I actually need to use a normal document editor but otherwise I actually use Coda, TextEdit or another basic markup/text editor. However, I still have desktop apps installed for those times I need to view or edit documents sent by other people. They just don’t convert well in my experiences so I’ve stopped trying.

What about you? Do you want to get away from being stuck to the desktop? Have you already? Or maybe you think web apps for office documents are evil and shouldn’t be used at all? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below and, while you’re at it, let us know what apps you use for your office documents. Thanks!

Like the intro. graphic? Get “File type Icons Document Pack” at by cristianalm.

PowerPoint isn’t an awful tool. The only problem is that it hasn’t come out of the Office 1.0 era, even after so many years. Lack of interactivity and eye candy make even interesting presentations look stale. It’s not like there aren’t any worthy alternatives either; there are so many of them out there. Office dwellers are creatures of habit and therein lies their problem.

It’s true that there are a few web apps that help break away from the clutches of PowerPoint, SlideRocket is the only presentation app that not only allows you to create stunning presentations but also to manage them intelligently, share them securely and then measure the results. Join me for a review of the recently revamped presentation app after the jump.


Every desktop user has to create a document one time or another. Even non-PC users have likely used Microsoft Office at least once in their lifetime. MS Office is more ubiquitous and is familiar to more users than MS Windows itself.

It’s only natural for competitors to come up with similar offerings to steal some customers of MS Office. Even a single percent pull would mean tens of millions of dollars to the bottom line. Now, with the advent of Internet, conventional distribution network & physical media are fast becoming irrelevant. Hence we have more than a few companies taking their shot in this space. One among them is Live Documents and today we are going to test their claim of being the “Office for the Internet Generation”!


Live Documents is the office suite for the internet generation — a set of web-enabled, feature-rich applications for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations that increase personal productivity and facilitate group collaboration.

This review of Live Documents will take a quick look at the app(s) and some of the neat features it offers.


Microsoft has Office Live, Google has Google Docs, Apple has, and now Adobe has their own document web application:, however, provides more complete web applications than any of the other three. provides a file manager, which allows you to upload Word, Powerpoint, and Excel files and share them with others; a word processor, presentation and tables application; and online meeting. Of course, it is built in Flash.

This is an increasingly crowded field, and there is wide disagreement in how these applications should work. Apple and Microsoft’s applications serve as compliments to their desktop applications, whereas Google and Adobe’s are standalone.

Let’s take a look at’s applications, and see how well they work.


When it comes to superb web based applications, there is one company that has led the way this decade. Millions of people from all over the globe use the tools provided by the folks at 37signals. From time to time, we’ll look at different apps in the suite. Basecamp, Backpack, Campfire and Highrise — each one is a leader in its genre. But they’ve also been covered a lot and we’re not going to repeat the past with lengthy reviews of each. Rather, I’ll be sharing tips on how to use their tools better — as well as how to integrate them with other great web and desktop tools.


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