Zoho office suite adds offline editing functions

Features to be phased into all 15 applications

Users can save Zoho-created documents and access them offline using other office suites, including Microsoft Office and OpenOffice, but it can be unwieldy to switch back and forth and maintain file formats, Vegesna said. "That's the reason that we're offering a seamless approach with this update."

Last year, AdventNet released a plug-in for Microsoft Office users to allow them to save documents in Microsoft formats more easily.

Several analysts said the Zoho announcement is intriguing.

"I think this is an interesting case of someone beating Google to the punch for once," said Brian Kotlyar, an analyst at Boston-based Yankee Group Research Inc. "We're seeing a fair amount of this, where companies are adding offline capabilities to online applications" to help users stay connected to their documents wherever they are, he said. Not allowing users to access their documents offline is often a major limiting factor with these kinds of applications, and Zoho's upgrade is well timed, he said, adding, "I think this is a good move on their part."

"Connectivity is improving every day, but there are still places where connecting isn't perfect," Kotlyar said.

Dan Kusnetzky, principal analyst at Kusnetzky Group said Zoho's move is particularly important because workers are so mobile today.

"People need to access what they've developed, not only when they are sitting at their desks but when they are in an airplane" or elsewhere, he said. "This has gotten in the way of anyone who has tried to offer an online-only service."

One difficulty with online-based applications, however, is that they can be more complicated to use in concert with regulatory requirements that call for monitoring of document creation, storage and changes, he said.

"I suspect there will be some success because people are obviously looking to do their work at low or no cost," Kusnetzky said, noting that users want alternatives to proprietary offerings like Microsoft Office. "I think they're responding to competitive pressures as well" by adding the offline editing and storage features.

In a Computerworld online comparison of office suites published in January, Zoho's office applications finished second to ThinkFree's suite out of four competitors.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Todd R. Weiss

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?