Online office software is trending for a reason. The biggest draw is the flexibility it offers, since you can access your programs and files on nearly any internet-connected device. Whether you are an individual, business, or household and whether you are looking for mobile or desktop solutions, here's how to investigate versions of cloud or web-based versions of office software.
What is Cloud Productivity?
The Cloud is a term that has evolved to describe utilities housed on the internet, particularly ones that used to be software housed on one's laptop or other computing device.
So, whereas you used to buy Brand X's software then download it onto your computer, now you have the option of not downloading a thing. As long as you have an internet connection you can login and use those same programs online. This is because those programs are housed and maintained on a server computer somewhere else.
1. Office 365
Office 365 is the cloud productivity solution housed on Microsoft's cloud environment, SkyDrive. Depending on which subscription is chosen, a full version of Microsoft Office 2013, additional cloud storage space, and other tools are available for a monthly or yearly fee.
Office 365 represents the type of office suite solution Microsoft is planning to emphasize going forward.
Google's cloud environment is called Google Drive, which houses all sorts of productivity services including the Google Docs and Google Apps online software suites.
NeoOffice is a free, open source office suite specifically for Mac OS X users. While other open source communities such as LibreOffice and OpenOffice can now also be used on Mac OS X, the directors of the NeoOffice encourage users to check out additional features NeoOffice can provide due to their specialization.
Now you can also find a version known as NeoOffice Mobile, which allows file sharing on web-connected devices and more.
7. Zoho Office
Millions of users are fans of ZohoOffice, a cloud office software suite (over 7 million as of January 2013).
This online suite is made by AdventNet, which makes business, collaboration, and productivity apps. The company also touts its ability to connect its ZohoOffice fans with Microsoft tools via Zoho Office for SharePoint, which you can try for 30 days and with unlimited users on your team.
New Cloud Environments, New Ways to Pay
To access these tools, you may be able to set up a free account. If the software is not free, you will typically pay a subscription. This is a new way to think of buying office software.
Available Cloud Office Software Suites and Apps
Many companies have been drawn to cloud computing productivity solutions, but individuals can benefit as well.
Here are available options so you can investigate the topic further. Most of these can be web-based or also desktop-based. The feature you will want to look for if you are interested in both online and offline productivity is called syncing.