We’ve covered a couple of different browser-based tools in the past here, including Zoho, ThinkFree, Buzzword, and Adobe Share. A new competitor, Live Documents, has now entered the fray.
If you think the name sounds suspiciously similar to what Microsoft calls all their products, well, there’s a reason for that. The program is built to integrate closely with Microsoft Office. The interface of its web application is very similar to that of Office, but this online suite goes further. It integrates into your desktop copy of Office (by installing its own toolbar) and allows you to share and collaborate on documents in real time – as you can with the others – but still have all the features and benefits of using your desktop.
I haven’t been sold so far on any of the browser-based word processors, probably because the benefits haven’t been enough to outweigh my familiarity with Microsoft’s software. This program looks pretty promising as a way to bridge the gap. Although I haven’t yet received my invitation to test it out, I’ll post some more details once I do.
Lawyers – as always – will have concerns about security and stability, but this sounds like something that could be pretty useful for students or others who collaborate on documents or just need stuff available on different computers in different locations.