Two More Challenges To Microsoft Office: Glide And ThinkFree - InformationWeek

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Two More Challenges To Microsoft Office: Glide And ThinkFree

While Google and Zoho are better-known online challengers to Office, there are at least two others that are definitely in the running.

When Microsoft completely redesigned Office 2007, rendering it completely unfamiliar to even the most experienced users, it opened a door for a number of alternatives -- some of them online. And while Google and Zoho are the names that most people are familiar with when it comes to online office applications (check out our review Google Vs. Zoho: Can Either Replace Microsoft Office?), there are other -- perhaps better -- services out there.

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Two of these services are ThinkFree Online and Glide. Both offer basic office functionality, as well as automatic synching to allow for access to your content when you're offline. Glide includes not only office productivity applications, but also links your mobile and desktop computing environments and provides document-level security and media file sharing.

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Both programs can open Office legacy documents with basic formatting, but each had some trouble with more complex documents, especially with Word numbered lists (but then Word has had trouble with numbered lists for years, so it should come as no surprise that these programs have trouble translating it). Neither can deal with an Open Office formatted document. While you can create fully formatted documents, slide show and spreadsheets, neither product’s spreadsheet can deal with sophisticated options such as pivot tables (although Glide promises that its upcoming offline version of the spreadsheet will have pivot table and other advanced functionality).

So before you make the leap and fork over the big bucks for Microsoft Office 2007, take a look at these two very reasonable alternatives.

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