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Google Enters Web-Office Market

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the looking-forward-to-online-clippy dept.

232

jaiva writes "Google's official blog tells us that Google has acquired Writely, a collaborative word processor." From the article: "To be clear, Writely is still in beta, and it's far from perfect. Upholding our great user experience means everything to us, so we're not accepting new registrations until we've moved Writely to Google's software architecture. If you're interested in giving us a try, we hope you'll get on the waitlist so we can let you know when you'll be able to try out Writely."

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232 comments

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First (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14886481)

First

Re:First (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14886652)

Another stroke of genius by Eric "Fucking Pussy" Schmidt.

Re:First (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14886728)

Another stroke of genius by Eric "Fucking Pussy" Schmidt.

Hey, given how easy it is to tear the delicate tissues of the anal canal, fucking pussies is a lot more intelligent than fucking rectums so cut the guy some slack.

Mods, can I get an 'Informative' or 'Insightful' for this?

Corporate Ladder (1, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886482)

Intercom: "Mr Writely, would you please proceed to the 34th floor."

Writely: "I'm going up to the 34th floor!"

Lift Guy: "Hiya Writely, going down again today?"

Writely: "Hey there Preston. Nope, I'm going upstairs today!"

Lift Guy: "Ahhhhh you've been called to the 14th floor again?"

Writely: "No, I'm going higher than that. This is a call all the way to the top - the very top!"

Lift Guy: "Woooooooow, I hear they have Aeron Chairs up there!"

This looks really cool :)

Re:Corporate Ladder (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886527)

Aeon Flux is on the 34th floor! Must be black leather day...

It's in beta? Great. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14886491)

In other news, Google releases a new slogan:

"What starts in beta, stays in beta"

Re:It's in beta? Great. (1)

ForteMaster (844937) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887235)

"Unless these guys [slashdot.org] are on the case."

Login Info (3, Informative)

ZiakII (829432) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886498)

Typical slashdoter... not checking www.bugmenot.com .... Try this

Login: boston@dodgeit.com
Password: Boston

Enjoy! (Yes I tested it unless some troll changed the password. )

Re:Login Info (1)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886514)

I use writely. it rocks. the developers were really cool too. kudos to them for getting rich.

Re:Login Info (3, Informative)

ZiakII (829432) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886516)

whoops password is boston

Re:Login Info (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14886904)

Typical slashdoter posting an incorrect informative comment in an attempt respond to themselves and get more karma.

Re:Login Info (2, Informative)

Sima (148367) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887032)

Nope, don't work, I got this:

Sign In to Writely
The e-mail address and password you
entered do not match any users we know of.

Prostitute Schedule for Mar. 9 at the MBOT in SF (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14886825)

Folks, check out the updated prostitute schedule [fuckedcompany.com] for March 9 at the Mitchell Brother's O'Farrell Theater (MBOT), located at 895 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco, California. The MBOT is the most convenient way for you to buy a blow job, a hand job, and full service (i.e. vaginal sexual intercourse).

I kid you not.

Please establish a hypertext link to this message. Spread the word!

Re:Login Info (1)

JourneyExpertApe (906162) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887046)

What's the word for when an account posted on bugmenot is canceled? Well, that's happened already.

This is obvious... (5, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886499)

To be clear, Writely is still in beta, and it's far from perfect.

A perfect into the Google product line.

Re:This is obvious... (3, Funny)

LeonGeeste (917243) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886708)

Yeah, I was kinda surprised by that, releasing a product in beta is an unusual move for Google.

Re:This is obvious... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14886848)

Fuck off, girly boy. Wipe that Google cum off your chin.

Re:This is obvious... (2, Funny)

bloggins02 (468782) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886857)

I see that your post is still in beta as well.

(sorry)

Re:This is obvious... (2, Interesting)

Oxen (879661) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887010)

To be clear, Writely is still in beta, and it's far from perfect.

From the online tour, "Let me tell you, Writley is AMAZING. It's easy to use, efficient (it auto-saves once in awhile, but you can't tell it's so smooth), and perfect.

wiki killer? (3, Interesting)

keilinw (663210) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886520)

I'd really be interested in something along these lines... but with wiki integration! How cool would that be? WYSIWIG wiki, end user focused, and with security features.... so that even dumb people could use it... err.. I think thats what this is huh?

--Matt Wong
http://www.themindofmatthew.com [themindofmatthew.com]

Re:wiki killer? (2, Insightful)

Mean Variance (913229) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886739)

Or they'll just buy Jotspot.

I can't wait (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14886525)


till i can upload my company files to an American advertising based company so they can rifle through our documents looking for whatever them or their goverment takes their fancy

yeah i can predict this will be a great success

Re:I can't wait (1)

RandomPrecision (911416) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886941)

Remember the last time the government wanted information from Google?

Re:I can't wait (5, Insightful)

quanticle (843097) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887109)

I understand the point you're trying to make, but I really wouldn't mind having something like this. As a college student, I often have multiple unsynchronized copies of term papers in different places. A service like Writely helps keep everything up-to-date, and in one place.

As for privacy, if you want to search through my History of Science term paper, be my guest.

Re:I can't wait (1)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887154)

You don't think this will be successful because many companies won't upload their important documents to an online site? That's pretty ridiculous. All of google's tools are geared for the most part toward desktop computers at home. As such, I'm going to use it because it's a great alternative to paying 600 bucks or however much Office costs for a word processor, and I'm sure that many other people will feel the same way.

Re:I can't wait (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887204)

companies can buy google hardware [google.com] for intranet searches. Maybe they will do the same for all other applications they are working with. Since these are however still closed source "black boxes", AND connected to your network, I don't know how trustworthy you can be that these will not upload everything to the big google database.

Writely rites good! (5, Funny)

LiftOp (637065) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886546)

Spelchecker needs werk.

Love, Gogle Developmint Teem

Re:Writely rites good! (1)

David Horn (772985) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887018)

Ah, but does it do the Microsoft Word favourite trick of trying to correct "internet" to "internat"? ;)

pieces of a puzzle... (5, Interesting)

pvt_medic (715692) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886559)

While there is great debate about googles master plan or if it has one. The whole concept that they make things and then try to make them profitable. The more i see their actions the more a threat to almost every element of the PC industry they present.
1-Online Storage
2-Office Suite Program
3-Data Search
4-E-Mail, Chat
5-Entertainment (Video, Photos)
6-Online Sales ?7?-Games?? (is this a possibility down the line) A large sector with big potential

I'll be honest I am one who thinks that eventually we are going to be returning to dummy terminals, a lot of these items would support that. I think they have a bigger plan, and I think we are beginning to see pieces that fit together. But also they have one or two more cards they havent played yet.

Re:pieces of a puzzle... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886621)

we are going to be returning to dummy terminals

So, you are switching back to Windows?

Kidding aside, I doubt we will switch to dummy terminals but it would certainly lessen the requirement of any particular OS.

Re:pieces of a puzzle... (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886748)

I doubt we will switch to dummy terminals but it would certainly lessen the requirement of any particular OS.

Personally, I see us switching to dummy terminals to interface with computers, but home computers will still exist. The idea would be that the "Desktop Computer" as we know it today would disappear and be replaced by a device that is capable of video/audio I/O through devices like your televsion and stereo system (thus allowing you to "watch TV/listen to the Radio" off the Internet, or record your favorite programs from the airwaves) as well as broadcasting desktops to dumb terminal type devices.

So my spouse and I might sit on the couch, each using an inexpensive wireless "laptop" device (that would be extremely thin and power efficient, as the processor is not required to do as much "stuff" as today's desktops) while listening to music in the background. The kids would be in the other room watching television directly streamed from the internet, but rebroadcast to the TV in their room. (Either through ethernet or wireless.)

So goes my vision, anyway. :-)

Re:pieces of a puzzle... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14886673)

To me it's fairly straightfoward. They are prototyping all of these web-office apps over the internet, to get all scaleability and usability issues worked out.

Then, they'll start selling servers running the whole productivity suite to replace Microsoft exchange/office to businesses.

What IT department wouldn't seriously consider moving to a system where desktop application upgrades happen once at the server and the only thing needed to support it on the workforce's machines is a web browser? Every employees documents stored on the "G:" drive that is easily tracked and backed up, rather than having to worry about remote backups on each desktop?

Re:pieces of a puzzle... (1)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886694)

I'll be honest I am one who thinks that eventually we are going to be returning to dummy terminals

Would that be like the Etch-a-Sketch that Dilbert's PHB has? (only desktop, not portable)

Re:pieces of a puzzle... (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886759)

6-Online Sales ?7?-Games?? (is this a possibility down the line) A large sector with big potential

The next big news story to come out about Google will be when they announce that they're purchasing Duke Nukem Forever. Then, the game really will be in Beta forever!

Re:pieces of a puzzle... (2, Funny)

AnyoneEB (574727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887245)

I think beta would be a major improvement for DNF.

Re:pieces of a puzzle... (5, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886780)

remember when google burst on the scene? Yahoo! was formerly the king of search engines, but they got sidetracked with other things -- message boards, chat, email, auctions, stores, credit cards, hell they even had a magazine. Google showed up, doing searches and nothing but searches.

So now google has expanded into other territory. Half of their services are in perpetual beta. Thanks to keyword spamming and gaming the google, their search results are often useless. Click fraud is very real.

Google is a threat, but they're a threat to themselves.

Re:pieces of a puzzle... (1)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887140)

Ummm, Altavista was the king of search. Yahoo! was born a portal. Yahoo! viewed search as a commodity, or loss leader.

Check out Spore (1)

willy_me (212994) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887039)

6-Online Sales ?7?-Games?? (is this a possibility down the line) A large sector with big potential

Check out spore [google.com] . Ok, so it's not from Google, but it is hosted on their page. I'm posting this link because it just looks like such a cool idea.

Willy

Re:pieces of a puzzle... (1)

robgamble (925419) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887049)

[Zoom forward 50 years]

One day we may rely on centralized quantum computers that the average Joe won't be able to afford, or maybe won't need to afford. A standardized viewing mechanism could be relied upon, along with keystroke, voice and gesture entry, and a common mechanism for transmitting sound and other media could be defined.

Now if the security were managed correctly, you and I could visit our data from any workstation in the world, because the apps and data are all hosted. You could just identify yourself and take control of whatever data and applications are connected to you from wherever you are. Some folks may opt for better interface equipment (speakers!) but the network and processing power would be the same for everyone (and it would be enough).

[Flash back to modern day]

Today's in-the-browser desktops and applications are cute but right now they can't do much. It's interesting see developers working hard to provide these tools but it will be years before Microsoft and Google can provide a compelling "stay on this web page for everything you need" solution. It's obvious what THEY would get out of it (increased ad revenue), but so far we get nothing but a flashy AJAX demonstration.

Sheesh... (1, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886574)

Can't these guys invent something new? They do a lot of good things, but it seems like all they do is embrace a new technology, buy a company, then extend it if they feel the need.

What next? Online e-mail? ;)

Re:Sheesh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14886648)

Would the mod care to explain how the parent post was "flamebait". How many new products has Google brought to market themselves?

Re:Sheesh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14886777)

The aqueduct?

Compatibility (-1, Flamebait)

msbsod (574856) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886578)

From the Writely web site:

What browsers does Writely support?

Writely will work wherever you have access to the Internet via a Windows or Macintosh computer with one of these browsers:

        * IE 5.5+ (Windows)
        * Mozilla 1.4+ (Mac & Windows)
        * Firefox 1.0.6+ (Mac & Windows)

Writely is not supported, and probably won't run on*:

        * IE 5 (Mac) or IE 4 (Windows)
        * Netscape 4
        * Opera
        * Safari

Regardless of your browser type, you must:

        * Enable cookies
        * Enable Javascript


In other words, it requires junk like cookies and javascript, and it does not function with every web browser not with every operating system. Curious, wasn't the web about open document access? Must have been a long, long time ago.

Re:Compatibility (4, Insightful)

NamShubCMX (595740) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886607)

You were expecting a "web-office" to work without javascript?

Re:Compatibility (-1, Troll)

msbsod (574856) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886654)

Of course, why not?!

And what kind of idiot mods my posting about a software compatibility issue as flamebait?

Re:Compatibility (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886690)

What would you suggest be used to enable the functionality? ActiveX controls so that it only works with IE? I'm actually curious as to how you think a developer can give you a certain set of functionality with plain HTML.

And what kind of idiot mods my posting about a software compatibility issue as flamebait?

Well, I'll wait for your response but I'm leaning towards "-1, Ignorant".

Re:Compatibility (-1, Troll)

msbsod (574856) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886758)

Microsoft ActiveX was never a necessity for the web. Neither were cookies or javascript. Same about Macromedia flash etc.. It is all about the ignorance of people who do not know how to develop HTML-based web applications. And you seem to be one of those poor minds.

Re:Compatibility (1)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886821)

At the very, very least, you need javascript for simple form error checking. Sure you could send all the data back to your server, error check it there and rerender the page with a warning stuck in the right place. Why wouldn't you use javascript to do something like alert("You did not enter an email address"). And other than checking server-side, how would you suggest doing it without javascript?

Do you login to Slashdot everytime you post or visit? I kind of like not having to. How would you do that with cookies?

I agree about flash though. Its use should be minimized and not used as the primary environment.

Re:Compatibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14886899)

Ahhh. Well, all you have to do is create an office package that uses nothing but HTML and will work on all browsers, and the world will pay you more than BG.

Re:Compatibility (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886919)

Microsoft ActiveX was never a necessity for the web.

Correct.

Neither were cookies or javascript.

Wrong.

Same about Macromedia flash etc

I don't know about "etc", but you're right about Flash.

It is all about the ignorance

Thank you, yes.

And you seem to be one of those poor minds.

Right. So it's unfortunate that you're getting hit by mods at the moment (I'd rather they wait until you really dig yourself into the hole), but as I said, I'd really like to be enlightened. Tell us how you would develop an online office system without cookies or JavaScript. Just plain HTML.

Re:Compatibility (1)

Cecil (37810) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887177)

Here is an HTML chat client without Javascript [www.moo.ca] . Here is an HTML chat client with Javascript [connect.moo.ca] . Javascript not required? Maybe if you really enjoy the stone age it's not required. Otherwise, yes, it is required and you'd be retarded not to use it.

Re:Compatibility (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14886803)

You just shattered his dream of selling textarea to Google for millions of dollars.

Enjoy kicking puppies too?

Re:Compatibility (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14886727)

Please, do explain how exactly you'd implement anything like a word processor in a browser without cookies and javascript. Perhaps we should only us IE and Active X.

My guess is that you got "flamebait" because there wasn't an "ignorant" option.

Re:Compatibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14886783)

well, you could use the good old object tag and ole to open an instance of microsoft word in the browser. then use microsoft's wonderful networking options to save your document to an ftp site. then viola, you have a wysiwyg editor in a web browser. of course, you'd still need a license for word but that's out of the scope of the parent's post.

Re:Compatibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14886862)

What kind of idiot would ask such stupid question? Of course, it works, just not in your little hemisphere!
Besides, the parent post points out obvious issues with Writely.

Re:Compatibility (5, Insightful)

tehshen (794722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886634)

it requires junk like cookies and javascript

If you care so much as to turn cookies and javascript off (like myself) then you probably would not use an online office suite anyway.

Re:Compatibility (1, Troll)

msbsod (574856) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886670)

Why not? I see enough applications of this idea. Just because the technical implementation is bad doesn't mean the whole idea is worthless.

Re:Compatibility (1)

tehshen (794722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886747)

I was not saying that the idea was worthless. People who turn off Javascript and cookies do so because it is annoying - ads, long page loads, and privacy issues, to name a few. An office suite like this will incorporate all of these, and would not be liked by said people.

If you don't turn off Javascript and cookies, then you are more likely to use an online office suite and would not be affected by browser issues. k?

Re:Compatibility (0)

msbsod (574856) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886793)

I see absolutely no connection between someone's desire to use javascript or cookies and someone's desire to use an online office suite.

Re:Compatibility (1)

tehshen (794722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886842)

Okay, simple example.

Someone turns off cookies for privacy reasons - so sites, especially advertisers, do not get any information from you.
Using an online office suite where your documents are stored on a server far away from you goes directly against that.

Re:Compatibility (1)

sglane81 (230749) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886741)

In other words, it requires junk like cookies and javascript, and it does not function with every web browser not with every operating system.

Hate to break it to ya, but HTTP is a stateless protocol. That means that it wasn't designed for user sessions. Therefore, cookies were created as a workaround. Granted some browsers and websites have abused them in the past. If you enjoy not having to put in a username and password in every single time you hit a new page, then you will have to deal with this.

HTML is a limited markup language. It was not initially designed for user interaction (forms came in a later revision). Therefore, we have JavaScript for client side user interaction and events. This means you don't have to wait every time you click a button. Instant gratification if you will.

If you want to blame the creater of the content for not supporting every client known to man, go right ahead, but keep in mind each of these clients had the choice to be built on the standards. "Web Standards" is probably the most disregarded type of standard. <personal rant>Cisco/Foundry don't exactly write to the standards when it comes to implementing telnet servers, but what can you do?</personal rant>

Love 'em or hate 'em, Javascript and cookies make your life easier.

Re:Compatibility (1)

Library Spoff (582122) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886811)

Instant Gratification takes too long....

ActiveX instead? (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886752)

So instead of Javascript would you prefer ActiveX? Basically you have to pick one.

Re:ActiveX instead? (0, Flamebait)

msbsod (574856) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886817)

This is technical nonsense. Just because you have been told that these are your only options does not mean it is true. I am sure you believe the whole web would not function anymore without AJAX, javascript, java, Macromedia flush, Active X, you name it.

Re:ActiveX instead? (3, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886910)

This is technical nonsense. Just because you have been told that these are your only options does not mean it is true.

So answer the question people are putting in front of you. How do you plan to offer a rich text editor on the order of Microsoft Word without using JavaScript to manipulate the DOM? Keep in mind that the browser Rich Text Editing control is dependent on JavaScript for operation.

Go ahead, tell us. We're listening very closely at the moment. Your answer will mark you as either as an amazing genius or technologically ignorant. If you attempt to evade the issue (like you've been doing), the mods will simply assume you're troll. (As will everyone else.)

Re:ActiveX instead? (-1, Troll)

msbsod (574856) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887181)

Everything is in place since the introduction of forms some five years ago (HTML 4).

Re:Compatibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14886995)

This is /. 99% of the replies here come from little creatures who believe hype. They buy the Javascript and ActiveX books. They buy every BS.

A collaborative reply. (4, Funny)

slashbob22 (918040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886590)

Slashpoo^H^H^Hdot:
A collaborati^H^H^Hative environment is the^H^H^H only good if you hate^H^H^H^H trust the people you are working with.

---
I have used my share of realtime collaborative environments. For some reason, someone is always immature enough to start drawing rude pictures or writing pointless statements.

While I realize it isn't always the case, I find that half of the people I collaborate with online are in the same building. Come visit, lets go for a coffee and work on the same document there.

Re:A collaborative reply. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14886883)

8=====D

LOL!

Re:A collaborative reply. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14887044)

For some reason, someone is always immature enough to start drawing rude pictures or writing pointless statements.

I had a mango today for lunch.

Right Direction (4, Interesting)

whois_drek (829212) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886591)

This is certainly a step in the right direction. I'm interested in automatic document generation, and it's a coincidence that Peter Norvig gave a talk at a colloquium here at BYU this morning. I asked him if he thought Google would ever get into the business of automatically generating documents using their 500 TB of data as a source (i.e. automatically created Wikipedia articles on any subject). He said no, because of copyright issues and the like, but it'll be interesting to see how "Writely" turns out. It seems like it's a stepping stone to completely automated document generation, and might yield some good ideas.

Google's suite... (2, Insightful)

sdirrim (909976) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886612)

On one hand, this may be an intro into a market in which Google will begin to destroy Microsoft's market share. On the other hand, this could be just the opportunity Microsoft needs to bring Google down. Google and Microsoft will now have products in the same category: Word Processors.

They already have lots of "products" in common (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887036)

Wait, which one of them doesn't do Searching, Web News, Web Mail, Online Mapping, and Image Searching?

Because if Word Processors are the only thing they compete on, something else must have changed.

Writely Technology? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14886620)

Writely is based upon ASP.NET.

Will this save them appreciable time? They will have to do a rewrite or be based on Microsoft technology (yeah, right).

Re:Writely Technology? (5, Interesting)

pebs (654334) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886956)

Writely is based upon ASP.NET.
Will this save them appreciable time? They will have to do a rewrite or be based on Microsoft technology (yeah, right).


I doubt they will do a rewrite. Probably get it running in Mono/Linux if anything. Orkut is written in ASP.Net, but I believe they run it in Mono/Linux.

Best features (4, Informative)

Beuno (740018) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886624)

One of the most impressive features of Writely is that it integrates perfectlly with Word and OpenOffice.
From their FAQ:

        * Upload Word documents, OpenOffice, RTF, HTML or text (or create documents from scratch).
        * Use our simple WYSIWYG editor to format your documents, spell-check them, etc.
        * Invite others to share your documents (by e-mail address).
        * Edit documents online with whomever you choose.
        * View your documents' revision history and roll back to any version.
        * Publish documents online to the world, or to just who you choose.
        * Download documents to your desktop as Word, OpenOffice, RTF, PDF*, HTML or zip.
        * Post your documents to your blog.

Re:Best features (2, Interesting)

coastin (780654) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886711)

Yes, they are also very responsive to their users. I began using Writely when they first rolled out could I could collaborate with my project leader on a technical paper we were writing for publication in a scientific journal. At the time they did not support OpenOffice, but they responded to an e-mail I sent that it was in the works. A few days later it was added to the supported format list. You can also e-mail your text to create a document.

Re:Best features (1)

eturro (804858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886894)

* Download documents to your desktop as Word, OpenOffice, RTF, PDF*, HTML or zip.

Inside the zip, you can find a document in either Word, OpenOffice, RTF, PDF*, HTML or zip.

And inside that zip, you can find a document in either Word, OpenOffice, RTF, PDF*, HTML or zip.
.
.
.
ad infinitum

Re:Best features (1)

snwobird122 (779810) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886930)

As a Writely user, I can assure you that it doesn't integrate perfectly with Word. I have uploaded documents to edit in Writely that have been reformatted quite a bit. The important thing is that it integrates "good enough" so that you can manually fix the reformatting issues and be on your way to sharing your word doc.

No new users for now (0, Redundant)

PineHall (206441) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886629)

They have stopped taking new users for now. They say that "while we're moving Writely to Google's software architecture, we're closing off new registrations." The integration will take time and effort, and the last thing they need is to be dealing with tons of new users wanting to be a part of the latest Google thing. That was a wise move.

beta (1)

imess (805488) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886753)

From the article: "To be clear, Writely is still in beta...

I guess we all know that without someone making it clear...

What's old is new... (5, Funny)

ferd_farkle (208662) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886775)

"a collaborative word processor that runs in a web browser"

This sort of app is awfully reminiscent of The World Wide Web, written by Tim Berners-Lee at Cern a while back. Anything ever come of that...?

Re:What's old is new... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14887078)

Don't you mean Al Gore?

best quote (3, Funny)

matt4077 (581118) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886787)

It's true -- everyone told us it was crazy to try and give people a way to access their documents from anywhere -- not to mention share documents instantly, or collaborate online within their browsers

She sounds like Napoleon after starting the war against russia, or maybe Einstein telling someone time is relative and space is bent.

Oh my GOD, sharing DOCUMENTS??? REVOLUTION! Someone call Nobel. He has TO GIVE HER A PRICE.

Re:best quote (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886864)

$0.02?

Re:best quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14886867)

I tend to come across at least one idiot a day.
Today you are that idiot.

Re:best quote (3, Funny)

joranbelar (567325) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886876)

Oh my GOD, sharing DOCUMENTS??? REVOLUTION! Someone call Nobel. He has TO GIVE HER A PRICE.

OK. $699 and she's yours.

gOffice.com (1)

Palal (836081) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886797)

Another alternative to M$ is gOffice.com

Writely pros + cons (5, Informative)

Damana Mathos (825898) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886834)

I've used Writely for about 5 months now. Obviously I like it, but what I see as the pros + cons are:

Pros
* Good, clean user interface
* Access documents from anywhere (main reason I use it)
* Don't lose your documents if your PC dies
* Sharing documents is good when planning things in groups

Cons
* Privacy issues
* Not as feature rich as Word

Privacy wasn't really a concern of mine, mainly because the documents I work on aren't highly confidential -- I'm not writing down my PIN numbers and not plotting evil plans. ;) If you're not doing those, then it just becomes a trade-off between privacy and convenience.

Features I'd like them to add include: user-defined styles, ability to copy/paste graphics, and improved table layouts. So far though, it's pretty good.

In other words, check it out once it's open again. ;)

Lacks tab stops even (1)

bradleyland (798918) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887113)

I'd list a lot more cons than that. I've been using Writely for a while also. I experimented with it as a means to document customer networks on the go, but decided that security is too much of a concern for sensitive data. As a word processor, it lacks some very basic elements, such as tab stops. The problem is that this type of functionality can be very difficult to emulate using native browser widgets. The interface is also very buggy. I regularly run into unexpected behavior when editing documents.

I think the idea is really cool, but when Google says that this product is in Beta, they really mean it this time.

Writely Vs Word (3, Insightful)

highwaytohell (621667) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886888)

Is this an attempt for Google to compete with Microsoft in word processing? Because as cool as this may be, it's going to be mighty difficult to topple Microsoft in that department. The Office Suite is so embedded in the corporate world and homes that garnering support for this product will be difficult at best. People know how to use Word. The majority won't want to go to something else that is new and shiny. CIO's won't take the risk of switching over to a new system when they already have a tried and tested system in place.

Microsoft already whipped most opposition to it. Also, after development is this going to be free or is the consumer going to end up paying for the privelege?

It appears more and more apparent that Google is basing their business model on Microsoft (acquire and re-badge).

I'd love to see Google actually take the fight to Microsoft on something that Microsoft has not traditionally been strong at and show them how it should be done. Show them that they are innovaters and not just tagging along on already established software. Trying and compete with them on this front is almost a lost cause.

Re:Writely Vs Word (2)

Damana Mathos (825898) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887037)

Google's key strength is server-centric services, and I think it will continue to lead in this area.

The key question is -- do you think we are moving to a server-centric world? For 20 years the home PC has been the key focus, but as broadband (always on) connections become ubiquitous and speeds increase, the disadvantages of doing things server-side declines.

My view is that we are moving towards a world where more things reside server-side, and Google will lead in this area.

For businesses, I think they'd embrace a server-driven application that was hosted in-house. Given Google provides enterprise search in this form, I don't think it's a stretch to imagine them offering a application suite that's hosted within the business down the track, while also providing online versions for individuals (or businesses that want to use them.)

Re:Writely Vs Word (5, Insightful)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887055)

I'd love to see Google actually take the fight to Microsoft on something that Microsoft has not traditionally been strong at and show them how it should be done. Show them that they are innovaters and not just tagging along on already established software. Trying and compete with them on this front is almost a lost cause.

How about:

Search (Google>MSN or Windows Live)
E-mail (Gmail>Hotmail)
Desktop Search (G. Desktop>Windows Indexing Service. We'll see about Vista)
Corporate Intranet Search (Google Enterprise>WDS Enterprise)
What about Google Scholar, or Google Answers?
What about Google Wifi?

Google's good at search. Really good. They've made a LOT of money with search, and "search" technologies are the kind of thing you can integrate into most any application, and cross-applications as well.

Thus, when Google wants to compete with Microsoft, why bother building a new solution, when they can purchase a company that builds a great solution, but is financially incapable of competing with Microsoft?

Buy Keyhole. Add Search.
Buy Hello+Picassa. Add Search.
Buy Blogger. Add Search.
Build on Jabber. Add Search.

See the trend?

Add a program to the Google palette, make it interoperate with the other Google apps, and move on.

Writely is a nice product. It produces Word and OpenOffice.org compatible output. It's a good enough wordprocessor for 99% of people. And as a web app, Google can integrate it into Gmail, Blogger, hell, Google Talk. Add in search. Add in online storage.

See the Google strategy?

Of course, you've got to be able to run your web apps on browsers, and if MS dominates the browser market, that could get risky. Then again, one might wonder why Google funds Mozilla [slashdot.org] and Opera [gigaom.com] . Note that there isn't ANYTHING fishy going on here; Firefox (and Opera) give Google search referrals, and Google pays them. It's entirely straightforward, non-binding, and easy to change by the user.

As soon as I get the opporunity, I'm switching my company to an online Office solution. Sure; you can use your own Office desktop if you like. But most people, who don't need the fancy Office (OpenOffice.org) features will be okay using Writely.

A clutch feature for me will be if writely has excellent ODTDOC conversion. Then I can switch our file format, too.

But I don't think its fair to critize Google for staying with its core abilities. Google is a search company (or started as one, anyways). Google's developers are brilliant, but there is no reason for Google to launch a completely new app if there are other talented developers out there doing the same thing. Either buy 'em out, or co-develop with them. You don't always have to be evil and use the embrace->extend model in order to win. I think Google is winning the battle v. Microsoft in an entirely "good" way.

intergration (1)

Art_Charlatan (836035) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886892)

I wonder if this means that I can now post to my blogger site directly from Writely. I've had Writely for a month now and still have never gotten it work like it says it will. Since they are both google properties I hope they get that fixed sooner now.

Mentions "secure" several times, but no SSL! (3, Interesting)

rklrkl (554527) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886908)

What I really don't like about Writely (apart from the fact that you really don't want to upload/type in anything confidential into it!) is that it makes a big deal about security:

* Home page says "Store your documents securely online."

* Sign-in page says "Simple & secure document collaboration and publishing"

So if it's so secure, why isn't SSL used *anywhere* on the site? The even more strange thing is that there is a secure cert on the site at https://www.writely.com/ [writely.com] but nothing actually links to it...ho hum. Yes, you can indeed login via SSL if you want - apparently they're worried about server load if they made SSL the default... Maybe with the Google infrastructure behind them, they can turn on SSL by default?

Re:Mentions "secure" several times, but no SSL! (1)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887084)

Most likely.

People bitch about Google not doing anything innovative, but I think Google does what it does best, and buys the rest of the expertise it needs.

Google runs big servers. Really big.
Google does search. Really well.
Google stores data. Lots of data.

Applications like Writely stand to do really, really well as part of the Google Arsenal. Google can give them the technological back end support (not to mention programmer dollars) to get the project moving.

Google, the perfect data source for intelligence (1)

spacefight (577141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886953)

Am I the only one, who thinks, that Google as a whole is becoming the best data source for intelligence agencies? Poeple search, read books, find products, read news, read and send email, post classifieds, read and post to newsgroups, look for friends on orkut, blog on blogger, I can hardly finish... Is it so difficult, to draw such a very bad picture of Google being one of the best targets for an intelligence agency? I mean, those organisations know how to bring their people into a trusted circle...

Re:Google, the perfect data source for intelligenc (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14887146)

Several ex-Googlers I know have claimed that they get regular visits from the NSA and a few visits from various Israeli agencies, and that data sharing has indeed occurred. - posting through several proxies

i foresee (1)

know1 (854868) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887025)

this as a first attempt at killing microsofts software market. first go for the big cash cow - office, then the operating system after. google hasn't messed up yet so microsoft have good reason to be scared.
somewhere in redmond a chair is flying.

"At Google, we know." (5, Insightful)

zenwarrior (81710) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887258)

Google:

          We know what you have. (You've indexed your hard drives.)
          We know where you [and family] live. (All mark their homes on Google Maps.)
          We know who you like; we know who you hate. (Chat & e-mail.)
          We know what you buy. (Let's be frugal.)
          We know where you go. (What's happening G-locally?)
          We know when you sleep; when you awaken. (Usage analysis.)
          And now, we know virtually all your thoughts & plans. (Using Writely?)

Motto: At Google, your world is our world.
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