Friday, December 14, 2007

Learning 2.0: Assignment #18

Now we get to something I can get behind -- online office documents! It's no secret that, for years, Microsoft has had a monopoly on creating and sharing word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and other work documents. Going back to my theory that sharing information should be democratic, I believe the development of web-based programs that do the same thing as Microsoft Office is a wonderful thing. And so handy!

I was introduced to Google Docs a couple of months ago when planning my neighbors' baby shower. How great was it that they could put together the address list, grant access to me, and update it as need be without shifting the file back and forth between our (possibly incompatible) computers. Additionally, as with most things Google, I like the intuitiveness and simplicity of Google Docs. It does what it does and no more.

The major reason I can see web-based office documents not taking off is due to confidentiality. I think of my former job and its clients and can't imagine them trusting a third party with the storage of their classified information, no matter how much reassurance is offered. I'm sure that's not a unique situation -- one that Microsoft will most likely use to its advantage as new Office suites are released.

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