By Anne Chen  |  Posted 2006-08-03 Print this article Print

GOffice GOffice currently costs 99 cents a month, but Silveroffice executives said they are still testing the idea of charging for the service and that the office suite will likely be offered for free in the near future.
For the corporate user, GOffices biggest hindrance will be its inability to import Microsoft Word documents or to export to Microsoft Word.
This means that all documents created in GOffice will need to be exported in PDF format—which is fine, unless you want to be able to make changes to the documents. GOffice officials told us that a Word import/export feature will be available soon. We could import our test Excel spreadsheet to the GOffice Spreadsheet application, but once the spreadsheet was up on our screen, we couldnt find a way to save it or to export it. Two days later, however, after we launched GOffice Spreadsheet again, the save button was present. (This highlights one of the issues with online applications—theyre ever changing.) One feature we liked was the ability to e-mail a document as an attachment to any user from within the productivity suite. The recipients of the attachments get an ad-like message stating that the documents were created in GOffice, but we felt it was a small price to pay for the functionality. We did run into reliability issues during tests. For example, we encountered a run-time error when we saved a GOffice Write document. When we tried to restart Write, the run-time error prevailed, leaving us no choice but to stop working on the document. GOffice is free (practically), and some parts of it are in beta, so its not unreasonable to expect such errors. But its not reasonable to expect a corporation to tolerate such errors. Interestingly enough, the GOffice Web site has a support line that users can call when they need help—a nice touch, but not enough for enterprise computing needs. A GOffice presentation application is in development but is not yet available in beta. Next Page: ThinkFree Office Online.

As a senior writer for eWEEK Labs, Anne writes articles pertaining to IT professionals and the best practices for technology implementation. Anne covers the deployment issues and the business drivers related to technologies including databases, wireless, security and network operating systems. Anne joined eWeek in 1999 as a writer for eWeek's eBiz Strategies section before moving over to Labs in 2001. Prior to eWeek, she covered business and technology at the San Jose Mercury News and at the Contra Costa Times.

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