Zoho will release their latest Web Office app, Meeting, as a public beta. It’s a good opportunity to consider what progress each of the main Web Office vendors is making towards a full Web Office Suite. For this post, we’ll consider Google Apps, Microsoft Office Live, Zoho, ThinkFree, and Zimbra. There are others of course, but these are (I hope you’ll agree) the main players.
Also, later in this post we compare Zoho’s Web Office apps with Google Apps. These two companies have the most apps so far, so it’s a good indicator of progress in the space (remembering that Microsoft is yet to release a truly compelling Web Office Suite – and no, Office Live in its current incarnation doesn’t count).
First of all let’s summarize what exactly is a Web Office suite. Such a beast should have, at the least, the following apps in it: email, calendar, word processing, spreadsheets, presentations. These are the core products of Microsoft Office, the dominant office suite package. You could also make a case for apps like contacts manager, task manager or even project management to be in the core products, but we’ll keep things real simple in this case.
Web Office Suite, Web Applications