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Taking your everyday applications and moving them to the web has been the goal of some for a decade - the killer app is email, but there are many out there in the Punditude (my word) world that believe collaboration IS the real killer app. Something that allows you to work with others, via online, voice, shared space or applications, video. Regardless, of the real killer app, there is a group of "office" apps online today - ready to be used that allow everyone to cut those Microsoft Office apron strings - here are three solutions (two I've tried, one I will try, soon)...
Thinkfree - so far, one of the better web implementations of office productivity apps (docs, spreads, presentation). These guys allow you to save your work in the "industry standard" - Microsoft dictated file formats (doc, xls, ppt) - or you can do quick edits via the interface without worrying about it. So far, everything works as advertised. I've been able to work on files online, and download, then edit with my MSFT products. Also, you can share your files via a publishable/mailable URL. Pretty slick, good implementation. If I had a rating system, I would give it a 9 out of 10 (but I don't).
Google with Spreadsheets and Writely - Google had the foresight (and the war chest) to buy Writely - an online document creation/editing/sharing application. I like Writely, it's simple and easy to use, some bells and whistles along the way and of course Google behind them to "make it all come together". Google Spreadsheets on the other hand is really not very useful - too simplistic for any type of real spreadsheet user (let alone a power user) - but if you want to add a row of number together, it's great. My rating: Writely 8 of 10, Spreadsheets 3 of 10.
DesktopTwo - this one is really a full replacement for your "personal applications" more than just the office productivity stuff. I don't know more than what I've read, have not signed up for the demo/beta yet - but plan to soon. No rating. (btw, what I've read about it, it seems very sophisticated and may be a big time player, too early to tell).
That's it - 3 solutions - 3 opinions - in 1 blog entry.