SaaS office productivity provider Zoho is about to make its online word processor Zoho Writer available offline with the help of Google. The result could offer a glimpse into the not too distant future of all office applications.
One of the criticisms of online office productivity tools such as Google Docs and Spreadsheets, Zoho Writer and others is that without an Internet connection they're not accessible. On the other hand, online versions of applications such as word processors, spreadsheets and presentation software free users from the constraints of specific computers and enable a degree of collaboration not possible with offline software.
Google is working to solve this problem using a beta application called Google Gears which enables online software services to be accessed offline by recreating the online software and data in an offline cache which is synchronized with the online version when the user connects to the Internet.
Zoho has announced that in the next few hours it will unveil a version of Zoho Writer integrated with Google Gears. A user will be able to select a "Go Offline" button from the toolbar while editing a document and automatically download a designated number of documents for offline access.
According to Zoho, users will not initially be able to edit documents offline but just view them. However, offline editing functionality will be added within weeks, according to the company.
No doubt what Zoho will be presenting is a precursor to what we can expect soon from Google's online office productivity suite.
For a short flash video presentation of what Zoho is doing in this regard visit this page.saas, office producitvity suite, word processor, zoho, zoho writer, google