Update: Cutting the Microsoft Apron Strings (Thinkfree, Google, DesktopTwo)

Just wanted to get an update of a previous blog entry. I've been doing some additional "using" of the Office Productivity apps (that are available online) and I still believe Thinkfree is winning the race - Google Docs & Spreadsheets is pretty good (and there is the power and deep pockets of Google behind it) and really as one of my commenters mentioned, DesktopTwo is really more about a virtual desktop/webtop, not really so much about OPAs.

Testing -
Spent sometime with Google Spreadsheets and really enjoyed the ability to share and collaborate on a spreadsheet. I got two other people working on it at the same time and as someone make changed, it "told" you they were active, then showed the changes. Also, you could use GoogleTalk while working on it. But I believe the best scenario would be have something people around the world work on.

Now, Thinkfree is really creating online applications that provide an easy transition off the MSFT platform. The only gotcha is using these apps with my "work" computer - there is extra security at work, with all sorts of "you can't do that" warnings that pop up. But, working from home or offsite (non-VPN) - these apps work great. I uploaded a few complex spreadsheets and documents - and they showed up and I could work on them. Also, created a presentation with "slide transitions" - once again, much like the MSFT interface/workflow.
zoltandragon said...
Hi, I am a ThinkFree user, and have transferred the editing process of a journal completely to the online application offered by ThinkFree. Before doing that I also tested desktoptwo, writely, and many others - but they are no match for thinkfree. If you look at the word processing applications offered, ThinkFree is far beyond all: it is the sole competitor for Microsoft's Office. If you check out Desktoptwo, you will get a stripped down editor that does not really have more to offer than a tinymce editor - certainly nothing to compare with ThinkFree's full online office support. Oh, one more thing: Desktoptwo uses OpenOffice - a software I have been having a lot of
problems not only in terms of editing options, but also in terms of compatibility.

On DesktopTwo, I got the following comment from an un-named resource, so add a dash of salt will reading....
Anonymous said...
True, but it doesn't appear as if Desktoptwo is focusing on the office prod. apps as much as they are on the desktop itself. I agree that OpenOffice (the suite that's included in Desktoptwo) is not as good as ThinkFree, but Desktoptwo, as a virtual desktop or webtop, is phenomenal. Looks like they created everything but the OpenOffice suite so I wonder if they could port ThinkFree in there instead of OO. That would be great....

So, at the end of the day -- big money may win, Google has a money to burn and lots of resource. But they also have limited focus on anyone particular technology (beyond search). Money covers up lots of "holes" that become huge when the money start getting tight. On the other hand, I value focus - and both Thinkfree and DesktopTwo have focus. Have you ever noticed how a smaller (but extremely focused) group of people can change the world!!


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