Over on the Office Evolution blog, Marc Orchant writes about a very interesting office package, ThinkFree Office. Orchant points out what makes ThinkFree different:
ThinkFree’s strategy differs from pure-play online offerings. They offer three different local versions of their software that work in concert with the online version of their suite which provides word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation applications that look and work very much like their counterparts in Microsoft’s suite. Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux platforms are supported. A desktop version (the Download Edition) of the suite is available for $49.95. More interesting is the Portable Edition ($49.95) for U3 flash devices which allows you to carry the suite with you for use on any computer. This mobile version, combined with the online service present one of the more compelling alternatives, in the truest sense of the word, to Microsoft Office and it’s current PC-centric work model. An iPod version specifically for creating, viewing, and displaying presentations, ThinkFree Show ($29.95) is also available.
Providing both an online and desktop based solution is certainly an innovative approach – offering the speed and reliability of the desktop with the accessibility and opportunities for collaboration that online applications provide.
It’s amazing what you can do with free stuff these days, you don’t even need your own PC as long as you have access to one and a net connect (even these are free if you seek out the relevant hotspots near you).
I have been seeking good alternative software for the creation of a free online office and have recently discovered Thinkfree. It definately has good user friendly features and is a worthy contender with Googles Writely and spreadsheet applications. Thinkfree together with a free yahoo account and del.icio.us make online working viable and use this with my own website and associated blogs for planning and publishing work.