Google Docs vs SharePoint
Latest news about Google Docs and SharePoint:
26.08.14. Google Docs for iPhone/iPad now can edit MS Office files. Google is bringing support for natively editing Microsoft Office documents to iOS. Google Docs, Sheets and Slides apps for Android and web browsers added this feature two months ago. With this, Google now offers the full-fledged MS Office alternative on all of its major platforms, including Android, iOS, Chrome OS and the web (it’s unlikely Google will ever launch a Metro app for Windows, though.) Microsoft launched Office for iOS earlier this year. To fully make use of those apps, however, users need a subscription to Office 365. Google’s apps are available for free, though business users are likely already paying for a Google Apps for Business account anyway.
28.07.14. Google Docs allows to edit MS Office files without conversion. Google made it possible to edit Microsoft Office files directly in Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, so you can open and edit those documents in their native format using Office Compatibility Mode. No need to buy additional software or think about how to open your file. The Docs, Sheets and Slides mobile apps come with Office editing built right in, and with the Chrome extension, you can edit and share files directly from Google Drive or Gmail. Another new feature - Suggest Edits in Docs. It lets you do just that: your team can make suggestions that you can accept or reject with a single click.
05.05.14. Google launched standalone Docs and Spreadsheets for iOS and Android. Until now, all Google's document editors for mobile devices were available in the single app called Google Drive. Ok, they remained there, but recently Google also launched standalone apps Google Docs and Google Spreadsheets (for iOS and Android). The presentation app is coming soon, and will be called not Google Presentations, but (for a change) Slides. Maybe, you could think that thus Google wants to unlink the editors from Google Drive and let users edit files not only from Google Drive, but any other documents stored on your smartphone/tablet. But no! In the new apps you still can't open a document without uploading it to the Google Drive cloud storage. So for while there is not so much sense in these standalone apps.
13.03.14. Google Docs gets Add-ons store, Teamlab Office gets server version.. Online office suites continue to evolve. Google Docs adds embedded add-on directory, which is accessible from the top menu Add-ons and contains all sorts of useful things. For example, a plugin for collaborative docs approval, for printing stickers, for integration with Mailchimp (email marketing service), etc. Obviously, this directory will grow day by day. Meanwhile one of the main Google Docs rivals - Teamlab Office unveiled the local version for large companies, that can be installed on the own server. Besides the office document editors, Teamlab Office Enterprise contains the full set of collaboration tools . Teamlab already provided in-house open-source version - Community Edition. It's free but trimmed in functionality. The new Enterprise version costs $1200/year per 30 users. If you think that it's expensive, calculate how much MS Office and SharePoint will cost for the same number of users.
27.01.14. Google, Microsoft and Apple refreshed their online office apps. These are not very important updates, but we thought why not remind you once again that online office apps exist, develop and you may well use them instead of paid Word, Excel and PowerPoint. So, Google updated its spreadsheets (watch video above). Now they work faster, even with a very-very large documents. There are new filters and functions, as well as the ability to work offline in the Chrome browser (just like it works for text documents and presentations). As for Microsoft, they mainly worked to redesign their Office Web Apps. The interface became more flat (like in Outlook.com) and more comfortable thanks to the updated toolbar. And the notebook app OneNote for Android has become like Evernote (watch video below):
2013. Microsoft's social networks: Yammer vs SharePoint Newsfeed. Last year, when Microsoft acquired Yammer (the service for building enterprise social networks), it already had own the own social network based on SharePoint (now it's called SharePoint Newsfeed). And that's OK, because Microsoft bought Yammer not for the engine, but for the customer base and the image of social vendor. But now, it seems, Microsoft doesn't know what to do with two almost identical solutions. In June, Office 365 users got the opportunity to replace SharePoint Newsfeed to Yammer, and Microsoft continues to insist that Yammer - is its future and that soon Yammer will become the platform for all its business apps. But on the other hand SharePoint Newsfeed also continues to evolve. For example, today SharePoint Newsfeed app for Windows 8 has been launched. And it's very similar to Yammer app for Windows (guess where is what on the screenshots).
2013. Video: How to build company website in Microsoft Office 365. Perhaps for many people it will be a surprise, but Microsoft Office 365 allows to create a public website for your company (thanks to SharePoint Online component). The practice of building websites on SharePoint existed for a long time. But it was quite expensive (due to the cost of SharePoint licenses and Windows hosting). Second, SharePoint was originally designed for intranet portals, and for public sites it's not very appropriate. Therefore, only large companies (for whatever reasons) used SharePoint as a website engine. But with the appearance of Office 365 things changed to better. Having Office 365 subscription, small business owner can create a company website for free. And the only technical skills he needs - is Word editing. Watch the video:
2013. IBM kills Lotus. Microsoft kills SharePoint. Perhaps the two most famous brands in the history of enterprise software, Lotus and SharePoint, will soon disappear. We mean brands, not specific products. Because by renaming their products, vendors try to erase the association with outdated technologies in customer brain. For example, Lotus appeared back in the 80-s years of last century. In 1995 IBM acquired Lotus Development and began selling their products Lotus Notes/Domino. In the following years most IBM collaboration systems moved under the Lotus umbrella. But last year the revolution occurred. The last child of the Lotus family - SaaS suite LotusLive was renamed to SmartCloud for Social Business. And then the name Lotus was removed from other products. The final nail was the recent launch of Notes/Domino 9.0 Social Edition (without Lotus).
2013. Office 365 for Business: new pricing quest from Microsoft. A month after the release of Office 365 home version, Microsoft is launching the updated version of Office 365 for Business. Just like in its previous incarnation, the business version besides the office editors (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, InfoPath) contains the email server Exchange, SharePoint portal and communications system Lync. Plus all sorts of IT-friendly things like Active Directory integration and the Admin Console. And as usual, Microsoft comes up with confusing variety of subscription plans. For example, some editions don't include desktop Office apps and some - include. Some editions can be installed on 5 computers, some - just on one. Some prices are per month, some - per year. And of course, every edition has different limit in the number of users. The price of Office 365 Small Business Premium, which provides the same functionality as Google Apps, is $150/year per user (Google Apps costs $50).
2013. Real-time collaboration in Google Forms. Google added multiuser real-time collaboration to its online forms editor Google Forms. This feature is already available in all other Google office apps: Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets, Google Presentations and Google Drawings. Now, when creating a form, you can invite one or more co-workers, control who is currently helping you to build the form, what field he is editing (each user has different color), communicate in chat and comments. In general, after the recent update Google Forms turned into the world's best tool for conducting employee or customer surveys. It allows to add any any kind of fields (text, checkboxes, radio-buttons, lists, tables ...), select a template, embed form to your site, collect the entered data into a spreadsheet or view it on a graphical report.
2012. SharePoint 2013 will integrate Yammer, provide platform around the online version. At the SharePoint Conference 2012 Microsoft revealed some new facts about the upcoming SharePoint 2013. But nothing specific has been announced - just few promises. The exact release date is also still unknown. Microsoft's corporate vice president of the Office Division Kris Koenigsbauer promises a launch during the first fiscal quarter of 2013, which falls between October 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012. Now about the Yammer. As expected, Microsoft will integrate this social intranet service (acquired in June) into SharePoint. The integration will be done via Yammer Web Parts and Yammer Open Graph. Got it? And soon (Microsoft says) SharePoint will become a system "powered by Yammer". Ok, let's look what is the real sense of integration between SharePoint and Yammer.
2012. Google Drive for iOS now can edit documents. In July, when Google released a mobile client Google Drive for iOS, users were disappointed by the lack of ability to edit documents on iPhone/iPad. Today, Google has fixed this drawback, but with some limitations. Editing (including real-time collaboration editing) is available only for text documents. Though the video shows that spreadsheets can also be edited, in fact, it's just a special effect. Editing spreadsheets will appear later. Besides, Google added the ability to view presentations, create new folders and move files between folders. Google Drive for Android app has been also updated today. It now also features the ability to create folders, move files and add comments to files and documents.
2012. SharePoint 2013 will include SkyDrive Pro. Together with Office 2013 Microsoft unveiled the beta version of SharePoint 2013. This is still an early version, and we won't review it so far (in particular, it's still no information about possible integration with Yammer). But one thing is this beta has already attracted great public interest - SkyDrive Pro. We have previously reported that SharePoint is being attacked by the army of file synchronization services called "Dropbox for Enterprise", and that SkyDrive's technology should help SharePoint to overcome these attacks. And so it happens, but as usual, Microsoft has added an element of chaos to this project. Why was it necessary to create a separate service called SkyDrive Pro? Why they just not added simple file sync functionality to SharePoint without inventing new titles? It's even more confusing as SkyDrive Pro won't replace the existing off-line client - SharePoint Workspace, but will be used along with it.
2012. Google Docs - on its way to offline. Some day Google Docs will fully support offline access on all computers and mobile devices. But apparently, it will be no earlier than in two years. Because Google likes to delight users with more happy news about the motion of Google Docs to offline. At a recent Google I/O conference the company proudly announced that Google Docs now works Offline! What does it mean this time? The service really now works Offline - but only in the Chrome browser. And to make it work you need to ... install Google Drive app for Chrome. Those readers that are following our news may say that about a year ago we already reported that Google Docs work offline in Chrome. But then it was about viewing documents, and this time - you can edit docs and even post comments. The changes will be synchronized with the online account once the internet connection appears. And for now you can only edit text documents and spreadsheets. Editing presentations will be obviously the next big news.
2012. Microsoft buys Yammer to protect SharePoint. Of course, it wasn't a secret that Yammer (the service that invented social intranet) - is a successful startup. But no one could imagine how successful it is. Microsoft is buying Yammer for as much as $1.2 billion. Most likely, it's too big price, but Microsoft has to overpay in order to protect its flagship product - SharePoint. We have already noted that after the rapid start, SharePoint has stopped in development. And lately two threats for SharePoint have appeared. The first threat is called "DropBox for business" - the new class of tools that sync files between computers and mobile devices. And the second threat - are these solutions for building enterprise social networks (Chatter, Yammer, Socialcast, Jive, etc.). For the first threat Microsoft has an answer - SkyDrive, but the social component in SharePoint it very weak.
2012. Google acquired the best mobile office - Quickoffice. It seams that start-ups become cheaper in spring. Every day IT giants are buying someone. During two days Google has bought two companies - Meebo and Quickoffice. The acquisition of social messenger Meebo aims to strengthen the social network Google+. And the acquisition of Quickoffice is much more interesting to us. Quickoffice is known as the best suite of mobile document editors. Quickoffice provides native applications (that can work offline) for iPhone, iPad, Android and even for Symbian and webOS that can perfectly open and edit Microsoft Office documents (Word, Excel and PowerPoint). In addition, Quickoffice can synchronize documents between different platforms, but this feature is likely to be replaced by the Google Drive. Thus, Google Docs is becoming the dominant office suite not only in the cloud, but also on mobile devices.
2012. Don't use SharePoint while walking!. For Microsoft health and safety of the users - is the highest priority. And to prevent people from falling and being injured while working with SharePoint on the go, Microsoft just doesn't release mobile clients for SharePoint (except one for Windows Phone, which is used by very few users). But there are people for whom money means more than user security. Harmon.ie (the company known for its Outlook plug-in, which allows to collaborate on files stored in SharePoint) has released a mobile application for iPhone/iPad that works as a mobile SharePoint app. Now mobile users with smartphones and tablets can collaboratively edit documents stored in SharePoint, comment them, track the history of changes and versions, agree the documents. It's so easy and convenient that people do this even while walking and because of this already 2675 were injured due to falls and other accidents. The sufferers have already created a web site protesting against the new mobile app - www.DontSharepointWhileWalking.com
2012. Google launched Google Drive. After (just) six years after the first rumors appeared Google has launched the legendary file storage service Google Drive. And the first question is: why they created Google Drive as a separate service, when Google Docs is de-facto Google's online storage that can store any files? There is a couple of reasons. First, such file storage and sharing services (Dropbox and clones) is a very hot topic either in consumer or enterprise space. And the attention that Google can attract with the new app in this space is not a bad thing for the search giant. Second, Google Drive will serve as a file system not only for Google Docs, but also for other Google's services that operate files (GMail, Google +, Google Sites, Picasa ...).
2012. Microsoft SharePoint adds Firefox and Chrome support. Recently we noted that for a long time there is no news about the progress of the enterprise software superstar - intranet system Microsoft SharePoint. And today the news appeared: SharePoint 2010 finally adds full support for the third-party browsers: Firefox, Chrome, and partial support for Apple Safari. Developers say that the limitations of these browsers didn't allowed to use all the bells and whistles of the SharePoint interface before. Wow! That's a really huge achievement of SharePoint developers. There is still no word about support of mobile platforms (except Windows Phone). But there is a word about social features. Jared Spataro, Microsoft's senior director of SharePoint product management recently said that they were carefully studying the opportunities of social networking technologies for enterprise collaboration and Microsoft's approach will be to increase enterprise social features in SharePoint. Looks like SharePoint is really in crisis.
2012. Google Docs adds the world best spell-checker. Remember the recent Microsoft's comic video about Google Apps? One of the claims against Google's online office was its bad spell-checker. But probably Microsoft won't joke about it any more. Because Google has pulled out its secret weapon - the world's largest search database that contains more words than any dictionary. You certainly noticed that when you make a spelling error in a search query, Google automatically corrects it? Now the same technology will work in Google Docs. Unlike the traditional dictionary (in Word), Google's base is constantly updated - adds new words and contains not only words but also names and titles in any language. However, meanwhile the new spell-checker is deployed only for English language, but Google promises to add it to other languages soon.