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Microsoft Office or online office products?

Microsoft Office or online office products?

  • In the ever-expanding marketplace, there are so many options for an organization to look at when choosing the right software. Traditional desktop office productivity suites like Microsoft Office or are now finding real competition from online/hosted software options from Google, Zoho, and ThinkFree.

    What tool(s) are you using at your organization? Have you committed to only using one type of office suite? Or do you use a desktop suite for some functions and an online suite for others? What are the advantages and disadvantages you've found?

    This week, TechSoup will be publishing a new article from our friends at Idealware that discuss this exact topic. We'd love to hear about your experiences so share them here!

    Becky Wiegand is the Webinar Program Manager at
    @bajeckabean on Twitter

  • Hi Becky!

    I just thought I might share my experiences here! I worked for a company that was considering switching from Microsoft Office 2003 to Google Docs in order to save on licensing costs. There were a few issues that kept them from switching over completely, including power; we found that Google Docs was simply not versatile enough for our  purposes. Things like section breaks, endnotes, page numbering are all easily available in traditional suites like Office and OpenOffice, but they were hard to get at in Google Docs or simply nonexistent. They ended up switching to OpenOffice, which worked well for our purposes, but as of the moment I do not think Google Docs is the right choice for an organization that needs formatting and versatility. I have not used Zoho or ThinkFree, so I can't speak for them- my two cents can only go to Google Docs. Hope this helps!


    Technical Support Specialist

    Æþel Tech

  • Becky,

    Excellent article. Quick addition to Microsoft Office 2010 and its integration with Microsoft web apps. It's a nice option to have and an excellent choice for those that are highly mobile. One of the really cool and unique things about this offering is the ability to link it with your sharepoint site. Storing your files in Sharepoint allows you to access them from anywhere and edit them directly through Microsoft office web apps, so you always have all of your files available to you and they stay securely in your office.

    This overcomes the concern about where your private files are stored and if they are safe there.

    Amy Babinchak - Harbor Computer Services


  • Hi. To toss another platform into the mix I would like to recommend UbiDesk


    This platform provides a full suite of project management tools all based in the cloud.  they offer not-for-profits a 50% discount on the subscription and it is VERY affordable with unlimited seats.  We use the task management, a google doc like interface (only better) called pages and most of all the platform has a "direct edit" feature that "Locks" any given MS office file so only one person can edit it at any given time.

    One year ago a researched many different platforms and this one has proved to be outstanding in delivering a quality product at a good value.  Please check out



    Rick McKenney

    Seattle WA