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Zoho Moves Offline, But Was It the Right Move?

by Tris Hussey on August 23rd, 2007

This week online office suite company Zoho announced that they have used Google’s Gears technology and API to give Writer some offline capabilities:

Zoho announced early this morning that they’ve taken the first steps toward making Zoho Writer available as an offline app using the Google Gears tool. Initially the docs saved offline will be read only but full offline functionality is planned. Source: Zoho takes the first step towards offline apps | Office Evolution | ZDNet.com

Call me a skeptic, but I don’t think this is the best way to do the online-offline bit.  I’ve been playing with Zoho Notebook recently and it is by far a better product than Google’s Notebook (more on this in another post) and also installed the apps that put Zoho Writer, Sheet, and Show “on the desktop”.  These desktop versions are really just little browser windows.  Nice actually they give you the feel of an office app, well as long as your connected to the Net that is.

Okay back to the offline capabilities of Writer.  See, I just don’t think Google Gears is the right solution.  It’s still stuck in a browser.  And a web browser wasn’t designed for this.  Heck HTML and such wasn’t designed for this.  We’re just cobbling a lot of heavy JavaScript and other techs to make this all work.  Well, maybe we can do this now because we all have faster connections, faster computers, and more RAM, but that doesn’t make it a good choice.

On the other hand ThinkFree has a Java-based and AJAX-based solution and for the online offline connection, it’s Java.  I think in the long run this is going to be the better decision.

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POSTED IN: Internet tips, On the horizon, Collaboration tools, Cool downloads, IE and Firefox, Software tips

2 opinions for Zoho Moves Offline, But Was It the Right Move?

  • Jonathan Crow
    Aug 23, 2020 at 3:01 pm


    We certainly think you are right;). We started a closed beta of ThinkFree Premium some time ago which automatically synchronizes all files between your online and offline files and folders.

    Let me know if you are interested in trying it out and I can get you set up.


  • catech » Blog Archive » Where is the Web Office Leading Us?
    Aug 30, 2020 at 1:17 am

    […] they were implementing Google Gears to allow Zoho Writer to have some basic offline abilities, I was less than enthused.  My esteemed colleague Marc Orchant comments on the Burton report on GoogleApps: But the […]

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