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5/23/2007
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Stephen Wellman
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Zoho Launches Notebook Beta

Hosted software provider Zoho this week at Interop launched its new multimedia writer, called Zoho Notebook. So, is it any good? Zoho first showed off Notebook at DEMO but didn't release a public version until yesterday.

Hosted software provider Zoho this week at Interop launched its new multimedia writer, called Zoho Notebook. So, is it any good? Zoho first showed off Notebook at DEMO but didn't release a public version until yesterday.This morning I had a chance to play around with Zoho Notebook and I have to say that I really like it. It was easy to learn and I picked up how to embed graphics, audio, and video very quickly. It works like a combination of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and OneNote, but it's much easier to navigate than any of those apps.

Zoho Notebook features online collaboration as well as version tracking, so you can watch your different multimedia documents evolve over time (or refer back to earlier versions if you make a mistake).

Nick Gonzalez at TechCrunch also is a fan:

This goes way beyond what Google Notebook offers, which is really just a content-clipping service for websites. A good analogy to Zoho Notebook is Microsoft OneNote, a desktop application. But with sharing and versioning.

Each notebook allows very fine grained access control. You can publish a book publicly to a static URL, share just a page, or share just an object on a page by granting read and write privileges to other Zoho members. They've also integrated Skype status right into the objects, pages, and books so that you can chat to collaborate with the users you're sharing with. In the release, they plan on also adding a Zoho chat box to provide another way to connect for members not on Skype so you can edit in real time. Each object and page has version controls as well.

I hate to repeat myself from this morning, but Zoho Notebook is yet another example of a smaller company beating Google at its own game.

I didn't get a chance to play with the publish to Web functionality, and I am interested to see how well it works with blog software. Have any of you out there been using Zoho Notebook? If so, what do you think?

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