In Sync

By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2002-03-11 Print this article Print

In Sync

Companies can extend the value of synchronization software investments by ensuring that workers will be able to view and edit documents available on the network. Windows CE-based devices ship with "pocket" versions of Microsoft Office applications such as Word and Excel.

While these applications enable users to access and edit Word and Excel files in their full-size formats, they tend to reduce documents, in terms of markup, to a lowest-common-denominator version of their original selves.

For Palm OS-based devices, weve had success with DataViz Inc.s Documents to Go and Cutting Edge Software Inc.s QuickOffice, which likewise permit viewing and alteration of office productivity documents. These applications, however, rely on desktop computers to first convert files to Palm-friendly formats.

Weve also been impressed with GoAmerica Communications Corp.s Mobile Office, which helps to bridge the document viewing gap by converting office documents into text form on Palm OS and other devices that cannot cope with them in their native form. (Mobile Office was recently named the winner in the Personal Productivity category of eWeeks 2nd annual eXcellence Awards program; see Special Report.)

These document viewing products, although useful, are decidedly inelegant. However, we expect that the next generation of ARM processor-driven Palm OS devices—as well as future Linux-based handheld units—will have the power to deal with these documents more directly. Look for these next year.

As Editor in Chief of eWEEK Labs, Jason Brooks manages the Labs team and is responsible for eWEEK's print edition. Brooks joined eWEEK in 1999, and has covered wireless networking, office productivity suites, mobile devices, Windows, virtualization, and desktops and notebooks. JasonÔÇÖs coverage is currently focused on Linux and Unix operating systems, open-source software and licensing, cloud computing and Software as a Service. Follow Jason on Twitter at jasonbrooks, or reach him by email at

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