Open-Xchange Expanding Into Office Productivity Apps for Users
Android users must be using the Chrome browser to on their devices to be able to do on-device editing. Liam Eagle, an analyst with 451 Research, told eWEEK in an email interview that OX Text and the OX Documents strategy is "the first step in a new direction for Open-Xchange, making good on the promise of the desktop in the cloud notion the company is embracing. The integration of hosted office productivity applications with the email and calendar tools is in line with what is happening around email elsewhere, most notably with Office 365 and Google Apps." While the new OX Text and OX Documents features aren't completely new ideas in the marketplace, they will help the company as it continues to position itself to compete with Office 365 and Google Apps, Eagle wrote. "But there is some nice tech there as well," he wrote. "It's built to work with existing file formats, so you can open and edit a Word doc, edit it from within your OX storage interface, and save it as a Word doc, without losing any formatting. This, and the fact that most OX hosting partners are offering users an entry-level version for free, really gets a lot of the barriers out of the way for people to try it out."In the future, that could become a bigger benefit in the marketplace, he wrote. "Realistically, we're still a few years away from adoption of SaaS [software as a service] reaching the point where people are willing to set aside their desktop word processing or spreadsheet tools. OX Documents is going to exist as a complement to those desktop tools in the meantime."
A key advantage of Open-Xchange's approach, said Eagle, is that "a user could receive a doc via email, and open and edit it from within that email environment. It also has some pretty powerful functions for collaborating live on edits, from desktops and mobile devices, and tracking the versions created by those edits."