Central Desktop's 2.0 upgrade focuses on user interface

It also enhanced the collaboration suite's file-viewing components

Central Desktop has redesigned the user interface and increased the file-viewing capacity of its hosted collaboration suite for small and medium-size businesses and enterprise departments.

The product's 2.0 version, announced on Monday, introduces elements intended to make the user interface more intuitive and easier, including wizards, templates, drop-down menus and more layout customization options.

The online file viewer now lets users eye more than 200 file types, including Microsoft Office, Adobe PDF and Photoshop, JPEG and TIF, according to the Pasadena, California, company.

In addition, the wiki component has been enhanced with drag-and-drop functionality for reorganizing pages, while a new tool lets users transform any file type into PDF format.

Since the user interface modifications are significant, Central Desktop has been communicating with its customers for a while regarding the changes, said Central Desktop CEO and co-founder Isaac Garcia.

"It's been a pretty drawn-out process in educating and bringing them up to speed," Garcia said.

Central Desktop allows customers to modify and customize the suite's layout and look and feel, so the company planned the upgrade with this in mind, he said. "Overall, we worked very hard for backwards compatibility," he said.

Central Desktop, which was founded in 2005 and has 30 employees, positions its collaboration suite as a hosted option to Microsoft's SharePoint for small and medium-size companies, and for departments within larger businesses. Its "sweet spot" is companies with between 100 and 1,000 employees that sign up for anywhere between 100 and 250 seats.

The browser-based suite lets employees, partners and customers communicate through discussion forums, blogs, Web meetings, conference calls, shared documents, user profiles, status updates, wikis, calendars, and project management and workflow tools.

Clients include Gymboree, Nielsen, CBS, The Ritz Carlton, Netflix, Harvard University and DirecTV.

After posting 44 percent revenue growth in 2009 over 2008, the privately held company expects to become profitable in the first quarter of 2011.

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