Goodbye Microsoft Office, hello Web apps

Time for an experiment. I've enjoyed fooling around with browser-based productivity apps like Writely ( -- now a part of Google) and ZohoWriter.

Now I'm going to try to put them to work--by ditching Microsoft Office for a couple of weeks and doing as much work as possible with Web-based alternatives. (Actually, I'll be ditching both Microsoft Office and; these days, I use the latter almost as much as I do the former.)

Okay, full disclosure: I know I'm not going to eliminate Office entirely--for one thing, I'll use it when I'm on a plane (which I plan to be four times in the next two weeks) or otherwise disconnected from the Web. And there are rumors of a new beta of the upcoming Office 2007; if I can get my hands on it, I'll use it. But even if I only switch to Web apps for most of my work, I'll learn a lot.

Question one: Which apps to use? I'll spend a few days figuring that out. I'm going to check out ThinkFree Office Online, which is a true suite with a word processor, a spreadsheet, and a presentation package. I'll also investigate some of the online spreadsheets, including iRows and ZohoSheet. And I'll investigate some online calendars such as 30Boxes, although truth to tell, I'm pretty much wedded to Lotus Notes for both calendaring and e-mail, since it's what we use here at PC World.

As I try out these and other offerings--there are a zillion of them, it seems, with more popping up every day--I'll report back here.

Meanwhile, anybody out there have any browser-based Office alternatives to recommend? Anybody using these as a primary way of getting work done yet, or are they still in the technically-cool-and-a-possible-preview-of-where-the-world-is-going phase? Suggestions and tips welcome. (And if you have your doubts about the viability or intelligence of this experiment, feel free to express 'em...)

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Harry McCracken

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?