More Browser-Based Applications

I hesitate before introducing you to yet more browser-based applications, for fear of sharing my feeeling of being overwhelmed. But some people were caught short by Google’s snapping up and shutting down of Writely, so here are two online wordprocessors that seem competitive.

ThinkFree Online is a Java app that offers you a simple and a complex word processor. The complex version is remarkably like Microsoft Word. You can “share” the document by email invitation, and you can publish the document to their server and make it publicly available that way. Of course, you can also download the documents in .doc format.

ThinkFree Online also offers online spreadsheet and presentation functions, but I couldn’t make the presentation part work satisfactorily and I haven’t tried the spreadsheet part. ThinkFree Online is in beta.

Zoho offers a stable of online applications of which I’ve only tried the word processor, Zoho Writer. This looks to be built with php and maybe Flash as well. Not as fully fledged as ThinkFree Online, it nevertheless offers a decent set of tools for a writer and allows you to export in a variety of formats. Although it’s also in beta I find that it’s more stable than ThinkFree Online, and it also lets you publish, share or download your document.

Finally, I offer you Thumbstacks, an online presentation creation program that warns you it’s in alpha. (No one should put out alpha software generally, warning or not; it’s bad enough that companies beta test their stuff on us; however, with the great suitors Google and Yahoo roaming the land, everyone wants to get out there asap and wiggle their bottoms.) Despite that I found it fairly easy to use and quite stable. I created a presentation that you can see here. When you try it for yourself and can’t find a needed menu item, remember to right click, which will bring up a good contextual menu. This little program quite appeals to me, I have to say.


  1. Thanks for using Zoho Writer & writing about Zoho in your blog, Simon! I’ll keep you updated of the upcoming Zoho offerings.