The days of desktop office productivity software are numbered as solid web-based products have began to emerge. ThinkFree, a San Jose-based company, offers a fairly robust web-based Microsoft Office compatible application suite. ThinkFree Office Online is easy to use as it leverages users’ familiarity with Microsoft Office to offer a product made up of ThinkFree Write (word processing), ThinkFree Calc (spreadsheet), and (ThinkFree Show) presentation software. You no longer need to rely on Microsoft Office to produce documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Currently, the product is offered solely for online use; however, I had a chance to chat with ThinkFree Director of Marketing, Jonathan Crow last week at the Under the Radar: Office 2.0 event and he mentioned that users will soon be able to upgrade to a premium offering which includes offline use.
ThinkFree provides 1 GB of storage and presents a
dashboard called “My Office” which offers a place for managing the suite. Each
application offers quick edit mode and power edit mode for more complex
formatting. With ThinkFree documents, spreadsheets and presentations can be
started from scratch or uploaded directly. Items can be tagged and placed in
folders for organization. ThinkFree also offers some interesting publishing options
which enable any document to be shared publicly and accessible via a URL. For
example, I uploaded a test document and published it here. The ThinkFree community can view, comment and rate public documents. ThinkFree
DocExchange uses the community information to surfaces the most popular public
documents, coolest documents and most blogged documents.
For companies looking for an enterprise solution, ThinkFree has a Server Edition that makes it possible to run ThinkFree on a company server. To find out more about ThinkFree be sure to check out the ThinkFree blog.
Bottom-line: ThinkFree offers an online productivity suite which is very comparable to Microsoft Office.