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Free Web-based Office Suites

This is interesting!
Study: 73% of Americans have never heard of Google Docs
A new survey by NPD has found that the 73% of Americans have never heard of Google Docs and other online office applications like Zoho or MS Office Suite.
“According to the study, 94 percent of US computer users have never tried a web based productivity suite. More than 20 percent say they’ve at least heard of Google Docs or other suites, but have still never tried them. And only 0.5 percent of users say they’ve replaced Microsoft Office with an online office suite.”
I think that we’re just on the beginning of an adoption curve as we move to a software as a service, web-based model. I doubt that folks prefer to have to dowload applications and keep them up to date. My feeling is that we are moving inexorably towards hosted application models since they offer many benefits (short of the need for connectivity but what doesn’t require that anymore!).
For libraries these applications, especially since they tend to be interopable with licensed software document standards, allow us to ramp up what is offered on our public workstations to truly go beyond just bridging the digital divide. This is one opportunity that is quite inexpensive and libraries can get on the bandwagon before the crunch and show true value add to their users. Just imagine.
So do we plant the bulbs now or wait for the nurseries to grow plants and we plant them later. Our choice.

Posted on: December 18, 2007, 9:09 am Category: Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I bought a flysuite subscription years ago. It seemed promising at the time, and I loved the idea that I could write stuff at home and access it at work. For my money (or lack of money) Google Doc blows everything else out of the water at present. I use GoogleMail, and I love that if I get sent an attachment I can view it in html or import it in to GoogleDocs.
    I don’t believe that GoogleDocs is the finished article, but it certainly sets the bar for others to aim at.