Microsoft Word vs Writely

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):

Microsoft Word 2

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.)

Writely 2006

PS: On the Mac, Writely works on Firefox and Camino, not Safari. The above is from Camino.


5 thoughts on “Microsoft Word vs Writely

  1. That’s an awesome post! I used writely since before Google bought it. You are right to say that it will never replace MS Office. It does not even replace OOo. Web2.0 seems way too overhyped to me, probably since it is so new and underdeveloped at this point.

    Some even say that Google’s set of web based tools like spreadsheet, writely and calendar will be enough to kill Microsoft.

    Some people prefer to use anything but Microsoft products, despite deficiencies and inadequecies.

    Everyone says Microsoft is going to fall. They have been saying that for almost a decade now. Has it happened yet? Have you seen some of the new software that Microsoft has been working on lately? They are very impressive. Vista and Office 2007 are going to be absolutely awesome.

    Lol, the Word 2.0 pic is hilarious. It just so happens, I found my Microsoft Word for Macintosh Classic floppy disk today. That is hilarious! Btw, most of those who hate MS, probably have no idea what a Mac Classic is, because they are too young. I was using them in highschool!

    Great post 😎

  2. That was an interesting post. I’ve used microsoft all my life and have mastered the skills in manipulating word. I have not really tried writely but it looks great and user friendly too. You got me thinking already.

  3. In response to Brent, I agree. Microsoft won’t fall anytime in our lifetimes. While the loss of Bill will be an upset to the company’s leadership, it will still continue on. The focus of vista has been turned to security. Hopefully this new security-based software engine will start turning out products tech people can praise.

    For the last few years I’ve been a big OpenOffice fan. I was convinced it was better than Office because it was free and offered all the same features, including the ability to write and read .doc files. Then, Office came installed on my new laptop, and I immediately noticed how much quicker Word is. It loads in about one second! That right there made me stop using OO.

    While Writely, the Google Spreadsheet, and Google Calendar are all very impressive from a programmatic standpoint, their roll in day-to-day life is very limited. I can’t say I see myself logging into Google to write my next term-paper.

    Great article!

  4. I use writely all the time, mostly for school work. I can edit my essays from home, school, or the library, and then print. MS Office does hold the upper hand for many things, however, and isnt about to be replaced.

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