After Google opened up the Writely beta for public, there are so many user reviews on the net talking about how this will put an end to Microsoft’s dominance in Office Suite market. Some of the observations are interesting, while most are half-baked. Some even say that Google’s set of web based tools like spreadsheet, writely and calendar will be enough to kill Microsoft. I think none of those people ever used MS Office for anything more than creating their resumes.
While web based tools are great for creating a quick spreadsheet for grocery shopping or a small document to jot your ideas or a report for your school project, they can never handle complex requirements most power users of Office suits require. The point to understand is that Web browsers are never designed to act as containers for AJAX applications like Writely or Spreadsheet – they are bound to suffer from memory issues once multiple documents are loaded. Just open Google spreadsheets and Writely in separate tabs with some documents and observe the memory usage. And corporate users – who are the major users of Office suites – will never store their confidential documents in Google or any Web based provider’s server. I will never store even my grocery list on AOL’s server, assuming they come up with an online application :-)
Now, for a very fair comparison of MS Word with Writely (click to enlarge images):
Yep. That is Microsoft Word 2.0 and below is the screenshot of Writely 2006. Got the point?
(Oh yes, I know that Word 2 did not have blog publishing or ‘export to pdf’ features. But then, nobody was talking about them in 1992.)
PS: On the Mac, Writely works on Firefox and Camino, not Safari. The above is from Camino.