Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Google Docs v. Office 2010 :: Battle in the Cloud

image:: Microsoft Word 2010 Mac beta screenshot, cravingtech

Microsoft is about to launch its Office 2010 for Windows, along with "web ware" {cloud computing} versions, along the lines of Google Docs. The Mac version is slated to be out in December. The Office suite for Microsoft is a cash cow, although it's telling that Redmond is embracing cloud computing, i.e., allowing computing and access to documents via the web. While Google Docs has been around for a few years, its market share is still fairly low. My take is that many businesses and users aren't quite ready to make the shift to cloud computing. Some of it is security concerns and some of it is usability. There's also the issue of having to be on the web to use it, which can be an issue for users on the go who are without Internet tethering or a wireless data cell plan.

With Microsoft's announcement, Google is reminding consumers about Google Docs and pushing it. The following video is an demo of Google Docs, which I found impressive::

My current work needs to be secure, so I'm careful with cloud computing, at this point. News like Twitter getting their gMail hacked wouldn't have concerned me 2 years ago, but now these things are an issue and I'm more careful with my documents. 

One of my pet peeves with cloud computing is the usability. I find many web applications and websites to be clunky and find desktop applications to be more user-friendly. I've been a fan of IBM's cloud visualization tools and have used Many Eyes on several consulting projects. The site allows users to create powerful visualizations with a simple interface {particularly when compared to the clunkiness of wrangling the interface in Excel charts}. On the Many eyes site now is an example of a visualization that examines how the UK election would have turned out if Parliamentary reform {PR} were implemented::

I'm not quite ready to embrace the cloud, so I'm not likely to adopt Google Docs in the near future. I'm not a huge fan of Microsoft programmes and have been trying out Oracle/Sun's Open Office suite. I've abandoned PowerPoint for Apple's Keynote {mainly for design æsthetics} and have done some presentations using a multimedia collaborative space on WetPaint {although I'm not 100% happy with this}. I grudgingly use Microsoft Entourage for POP/IMAP email. I still use Word, although I'm always frustrated with how poorly it handles images in documents. I also use Access on my Windows XP partition. While I use Apple's Keynote, I'm not always a fan of Apple's software either.

What would get me to embrace the cloud more is the availability of web and desktop versions that can seamlessly move data and documents between the two. I'm actually curious about the usability of Office 10 on the web that Microsoft will be releasing.

Here are two more beta screenshots of the Mac version of Office 10 {Excel & PowerPoint}.

Song:: Cloudberry Jam-'Meditation'

Twitterversion:: Microsoft Office vs. Google Docs in cloud computing. Many users not ready 4 cloud, but will MS bridge desktop & cloud? @Prof_K

1 comment:

Blogger said...

DreamHost is definitely the best website hosting company for any hosting plans you might require.