Google Sites follows the release of GrandCentral

Finally the old JotSpot has been released by Google. Google Sites made a big splash yesterday, and by the end of the day most bloggers were complaining about how much JotSpot had been stripped down from the original application. I’ve had a JotSpot account since the early beta days, so when I finally got around last night to accessing Sites, I was also a bit disappointed. Thinking about it again this morning, I realized that – like most everything else Google releases – Sites may be a simplified version of JotSpot, but it still is quite powerful. I know of a few small organizations that I help out that will absolutely love this Google wiki product.

My old JotSpot account still looks and operates the same, and I believe there is a plan to offer optional migration of old JotSpot accounts over to the new Sites. Once I’ve taken a full spin, I’ll post a thorough review of Sites. I’m already getting the feeling that, once I spend some time working with Sites, I’ll like it a lot.

Microsoft counters ‘free’ with Works

With all the free office clones floating about, including Google’s Docs&Spreadsheets, you knew it was just a matter of time that Microsoft would have to offer something to counter.  Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley is blogging about such a move.  Apparently, the new Microsoft Works will run on an advertising supported model, and will be available as a free application when released later this year.  This is not Microsoft’s first foray into free office applications, as the company released a free version, but highly restricted, of its accounting software recently.  While this is not ‘official’ news,  the move is not at all surprising.

Is JotSpot finally ready to be unveiled by Google?

InsideGoogle is reporting that JotSpot may finally emerge from the Googleplex as a part of the Google Application Suite for enterprise customers.  It was just a few days ago that I expressed concern that JotSpot seemed to have fallen into some void at Google.  It’s good to hear that the wiki application may finally be ready for prime time.

Hopefully, this time the news is for real (not like the last time).

Thanks to Googlified for the update.

Omnidrive connects Excel files to Zoho Sheet

Back in January I wrote about the rich Word file integration between online storage company Omnidrive’s service and Zoho’s word processor. Well, to follow up on that, Omnidrive has now successfully integrated Zoho’s spreadsheet application to Omnidrive giving you a feature rich read/write/edit capability for Excel files on the cloud. As I mentioned before, this is really powerful stuff. Excel files that are stored online with Omnidrive can be accessed and edited on Zoho, and then saved back to Omnidrive – all without downloading the file onto a client desktop. How many times have you wanted to quickly check a figure on a spreadsheet, but were afraid to download it onto someone else’s desktop? I know I’ve had this issue from time to time. This is one scenario where this integration eliminates the ‘fear factor’ of leaving behind data on public computers. As these integration points onto online productivity tools continue to grow, the most adaptive online storage services have the best chance of creating a unique foothold in the market – and maybe even outmaneuver the Googleplex.

Googlified posts about Google’s possible PowerPoint killer

One of the prominent Google watcher weblogs out there posted this morning about a possible Google online presentation program called Google Presently. Details are sketchy at the moment, but it’s not surprising that Google has a presentation application in the works given that most people have come to expect a true ‘office suite’ to include word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation capabilities. My hope is that Google begins the daunting process of tightly integrating all of their applications sooner rather than later. With the guys at Zoho setting a torrid pace on the integration front, Google has some catching up to do.