Google Docs Refresh Aims to Steal Microsoft Office, Lotus Notes Users

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Google Docs Refresh Aims to Steal Microsoft Office, Lotus Notes Users

by Clint Boulton

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Moving into the Future

Google Docs is moving into the future with this release, away from inefficient editing processes and into real-time collaboration for multiple users.

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Google Claims Break from Individual Authoring

Microsoft Office was created for individual authoring, not collaboration, Google argues. Google has added co-editing in presentations, shared documents within groups, real-time translation, shared folders and other modern features to Google Docs over the last four years.

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Document Editor

Today Google is offering up to 50 users the capability to edit character by character.

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The New Document Editor

See the real-time editing in action and note the chat bar on the right-hand side. This allows users to instant message each other to discuss their work.

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Spreadsheet Editor

Spreadsheets load in a second or two, not the several seconds Microsoft Excel spreadsheets take to fire up.

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Chat About Spreadsheets

Users can also chat about spreadsheets.

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Drawing Editor

Like working with Docs files, the drawing editor also fields up to 50 simultaneous editors, who can use flow charts, diagrams and other graphical representations to visualize ideas.

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Embedding Drawings in Docs

Users can embed drawings as graphical representations in documents, spreadsheets and presentations. This provides a neat twist to collaboration in the workplace. So much for Google buying Mindjet!

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Farewell to Google Gears on Docs

Google has drastically improved Google Docs on iPhone, Android and other smartphones that use full HTML browsers. However, note that Docs users who work with Google Gears for offline access will find themselves cut off from May 3 until Google can build offline support for Docs with HTML5.

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Stacking Up with Microsoft Office 2010

Google shows how its new Docs tools will stack up versus Microsoft Office 2010, slated for a May 12 release. Google talks about what it has that Office 2010 won't and jabs at Microsoft's price. Google Docs is free as part of Google Apps, which businesses may also purchase with additional features for $50 per user per year.

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