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Web 2.0 Office

This week I’ve been noticing a lot of Web 2.0-style Office apps coming out. Here’s a selection of some of them:

AjaxOffice – “A complete office suite usable via your browser. Your documents are safely stored on a server…”

Writely – “The Web Word Processor” (unfortunately the beta is full already). TechCrunch reviewed it and said: “Writely is a highly specialized niche application built with ajax. Ajax allows this (and other applications) to act very much like desktop apps.”

The weirdly named FCKeditor is also an MS Word-like web app. It’s open source too. (hat-tip Josh)

gOFFICE – “a browser-based online word processor and desktop publishing program”

Num Sum – web-based spreadsheets (hat-tip Michael Fagan). Interesting service that lets you share spreadsheets, except only the author of a spreadsheet can edit it.

Kiko – Online calendar solution powered by (of course) Ajax. TechCrunch profile here.

Those are just some of the web-based Office apps that have popped up recently. Don’t forget established tools like Gmail (Google’s email app that blows MS Outlook out of the water) and Chandler (the open source Personal Information Manager that has been in development for a Web eternity).

Interesting also to note this CNET article from way back in 2001, speculating that Yahoo was looking at Web-based office tools. CNET quoted from a survey on the Yahoo website at the time, asking questions about a “full-featured suite of office productivity tools available online through a browser, handheld devices and Web-enabled cell phones.” Hmmm, wonder what ever happened to that?! IBM has also talked about server-based office apps in the past too.

Current Crop of web-based Office apps

But really the most interesting web-based Office apps are the current crop of Web 2.0-style apps, built by small start-ups or open source developers. Ajax seems to be a common denominator amongst a lot of them.

Is the development of this new kind of “Web 2.0” Office tool likely to be worrying Microsoft much at this stage?

I’m interested in knowing what other Webified Office tools are out there – alpha, beta or even a glint in a developer’s eye. Please add to the comments and let’s see if we can build a big list of them.

UPDATE, 5/9/05: In a trackback from klogs.org, I discovered a web-based Powerpoint called S5 and a web-based version of Microsoft’s OneNote called (of course) Webnote. Also an online Office suite, thinkfree, which isn’t vapourware like AjaxOffice (thanks to my commenters for alerting me to that). Hmmm, I think Microsoft needs to watch its back 😉

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