ReadWriteWeb has put together a quick comparison of five different online office suites to see how they stack up to each other, and so I thought that I would give my take on Zoho vs. Google Docs & Spreadsheets. Google and Zoho have both been leaders in the online office suite arena, and each are great for different reasons.
First I’ll start with Zoho, which has a collection of services that is unmatched by any other online office suite. They’ve got everything from project managing, a presentation creator, spreadsheet capabilities, and word processing. Heck, that’s just a small list of what they offer. They tie everything together beautifully by letting you, for example, add a Zoho Sheet into your Zoho Notebook. When Zoho launches their mail client it will integrate almost everything which you can see in this interactive demo.
Zoho also offers a ton of features and configuration options that other online suites don’t have. An example of this can be seen in the Zoho Writer options where they let you choose which buttons are shown on the toolbar:
So why would anyone want to use Google Docs? The name of course! Google Docs and Spreadsheets only has a fraction of the features that Zoho’s offerings have, but Google already has a large fan base because of their search engine. Google Docs users love the simple interface and the intuitive design that makes it so easy to use. Zoho gives you the feeling that you’re using Microsoft Office 2003, while Google didn’t try to take that route. Google Docs is more unique, and someone unfamiliar with Microsoft Office could probably pick up on using it faster than using Zoho.
The thing that Google is missing the most is strong integration between their products. Gmail should be the central hub for users to create documents, manage their notebook, read feeds, and do just about anything. It should take just a few clicks from within my Inbox to send off a document to someone in a format that I can choose (PDF, DOC, etc….).
To be honest Google greatly disappoints me when it comes to integration because they have some really great products and services available. I feel like a broken record talking about this, but Google announced last October that they were not going to be releasing new services for awhile because they wanted to start integrating their things together, yet we haven’t seen much indication of this going on. Just the fact that Gmail isn’t integrated with Picasa Web Albums still astonishes me.
So the winner between the two services (in my opinion) is Zoho, which is also what Donation Coder thought when they compared a few of the online word processors. If Google can begin integrating some of their services together with Gmail I would undoubtedly use them over anything else.