Back in April we wrote about Peepel which at the time was a new online-office startup. They offer a spreadsheet and word processor that look near identical to Office 2007. Considering they haven’t updated their blog since August, I’m guessing things aren’t going so well for them and they aren’t really updating the service. Now there’s yet another online office application option launching out there called Live Documents which once again, looks a little too much like Office 2007. I’m really not too sure what’s going on with all of the Office 2007 wannabe’s and why the developers feel making their service to look just like Microsoft’s application is beneficial.
Below are a few additional screenshots of the service for you to take a look at that show the resemblance with Microsoft’s Office 2007:
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Download Squad points out what they do have going for them – the fact that it was created by the guy who created Hotmail (definitely has some experience with online services) and the fact that it’s flashed based and also offers the option for people to collaborate and use the service offline. Another big plus is the that anyone can use it whether they’re on a Mac, a PC, or using Linux. These features are all offered with other more established services though. While it looks nice (thanks to the work Microsoft put into developing the interface for Office that people are now copying), I can’t say that they’d be considered a competitor for either online or offline office suites.
Just like Peepel, I think people are going to be hesitant to use a new online service. People are willing to use Google Docs and Spreadsheets and even Zoho because they’ve been around long enough that we know they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. For most people, an office suite is at the top of the list of “must-have” applications aside from an Internet browser. They want something they can rely on and I don’t know if Live Documents will be able to offer what users are looking for. Not only that, they have to prove that they’re here for the long run and they aren’t going anywhere before people feel confident enough to use the service they offer for all of their Office needs.
Additional screenshots of the service here.