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.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 devicesas well as future Linux-based handheld unitswill have the power to deal with these documents more directly. Look for these next year.
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.