Hotmail co-founder launches online office suite

InstaColl, a company co-founded by Sabeer Bhatia of Hotmail fame, has introduced an online office productivity suite.

Hotmail co-founder, Sabeer Bhatia, is placing his bets on an online office productivity suite that is positioned to compete with similar offerings from Microsoft and Google.

Instant Collaboration Software Technologies (InstaColl), a Bangalore company co-founded by Bhatia, unveiled its Live Documents on Wednesday, an application that allows users to access and work on their documents online using a browser, and collaborate and share documents in real-time with others.

The software supports any browser that supports Flash from Adobe Systems and runs on any computer operating system, said Sumanth Raghavendra, chief executive officer of InstaColl.

Online documents can also be synchronized and worked with off-line, using a desktop client that wraps around an office suite running on the desktop, Raghavendra said. Live Documents automatically synchronizes all changes, the next time the user goes online. Users can work on the document in Microsoft Office when off-line, for example, and then the document will be updated in Live Documents for online collaboration, he added.

The hosted service, which is currently available for technology preview at www.live-documents.com, is free for individuals but corporate users will have to pay. Corporate users can sign up for the hosted service, or run a license of the software on an internal server within the company, Raghavendra said.

Live Documents uses Flash and Flex technologies from Adobe to provides users a better user experience than do the online office applications from Google, which are essentially stripped-down versions of Microsoft Office, Raghavendra said.

"Even power-users of Microsoft Office can use our service," he added. Microsoft will not sacrifice their desktop software license business by offering a fully online office productivity service, which presents an opportunity for InstaColl, he added.

Bhatia, who shot to prominence after selling Hotmail to Microsoft for a reported US$400 million in 1997, told reporters in Bangalore on Monday that the new application addresses a bigger market opportunity than Hotmail, as it is in the online space and is targeted at mass use.

InstaColl is targeting both the office productivity market, which it estimates to be US$20 billion this year, and the market for document management and collaboration software.

The decision to offer the service free for personal use was prompted by the need to popularize the technology, Raghavendra said.

The application currently supports Microsoft Office on the desktop for users who want to work off-line, but will also support OpenOffice.org, an open-source office suite, in a few months. InstaColl also plans to launch by that time its own desktop client to offer its customers the ability to work off-line.

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.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

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.

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?