Sunday, November 25, 2007

Let's Collaborate or Oh, no! I forgot to bring a disk! Thing #18

My first thought is that these online applications would be great for those customers who have forgotten to bring a disk but don't want to print a document they're working on. If you can save it to these web based applications that would be a great asset to our customers. Then I wasted 10 minutes trying to upload a file to Google Docs before Google told me that the document was too big. This was annoying.

I then tried to upload something to ThinkFree from home. ThinkFree spent 15 minutes trying to upload something with Java (which would annoy our customers because it would waste their time on the machines) and then it opened up an empty document. When I tried to upload the same document from work (because the document is showing as in my ThinkFree account) I had to sign on, try to open the document, at which point another window opened and I had to sign on again, and then it couldn't open the document because it was a Microsoft Works document and not MS Word (though I swear I've got MS Word at home as part of MS Office Suite) Then we tried another document that was created with the same word processing program and it downloaded the Java program, then it told me to look at it with Power Edit, and then told me to "please sign in to open the document" ignoring the fact that I was already signed in. That's how I was able to get to the screen that let me choose which document to open. But ThinkFree insists I have to upgrade to ThinkFree Premium before I can edit anything, so this program will not be useful to our customers.

So these free applications would not be helpful to our customers (if they've got the bandwidth to use them properly at home, they've got the bandwidth to send themselves attachments via email and just pass documents back home that way, as opposed to needing a desk), and I'm not really sure they'd be of much help to us, either for the same reason. They're not opening up on my computer.

I could successfully upload and open MS Works Documents with Google Documents, but I wasn't able to share them with people who weren't using a Google, Gmail or Yahoo account. This would be useful as a means to send a document to yourself (when our customers forget to bring disks), but I still feel uncomfortable pushing one company over another (yes, Google Documents is a better service, but only if you're using their email accounts).

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