Google Brings Offline Access to Docs and Apps

Image representing Google Docs as depicted in ...
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“Google is rolling out a much-awaited feature for its hosted applications: the ability for people to use them even when they aren’t connected to the Internet.

The first application to get this offline access will be the word processor, said Ken Norton, Google Docs product manager. ‘The design goal is to create a seamless experience, with or without an Internet connection,’ he said.

Over the next three weeks or so, Google will turn on the feature for all word processor users, giving them the ability to view and edit documents while offline. During the same time period, Google Docs’ spreadsheet will gain offline ability for viewing, but not editing, documents.” Click here to read more…

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Good-Bye XP. Hello Windows 7? Not so fast…

How long will it be before the average computer user rebels against these ‘shotgun upgrades’ from Microsoft?

“Microsoft has wanted to kill Windows XP for years. There was only one problem. The users refused to let it die. Now, that Windows 7 is almost ready to go, Microsoft is, once more, trying to ax XP.

Microsoft did this to themselves. Vista was a flop. Even now, according to Net Applications’ Market Share, Vista has only a lousy 23% of the desktop market. For a while, Microsoft ignored the fact that even their own executives were horrified by just how bad Vista was. But, then the Linux-powered netbook came along, and Microsoft was frightened enough by its early successes that it un-retired Windows XP Home.

Now, Microsoft wants to kill off XP again. Step one will be bringing free support for XP to a close on April 14th. Step two is letting anyone and their uncle get a free copy of the Windows 7 release candidate sometime in May. The timing is by design. ” Source: Good-Bye XP. Hello Windows 7 – Computerworld Blogs

For me, the end of the line was last year. I resolved never to pay another penny to Microsoft and so far, I’ve been successful. In addition, my two-year long relationship with Vista ended last week, but it had been on the rocks for a long time…

I was forced into using Vista two years ago on a day when I had to walk into Sam’s Club and buy the best computer I could get at that particular store [don’t ask — it’s a long story!]. Well, for the past couple of years I have been living the old proverb about ‘marry in haste, repent in leisure’. My experience with Vista was so bad, that I started to look into Ubuntu and I have never looked back. Don’t get me wrong — Ubuntu cannot totally replace Windows. Yet. However, in many ways, it’s a better operating system than XP. And it’s free which is why every school, church and small business should think about getting off the Microsoft upgrade cycle and start using at least a little Ubuntu in their organizations…

I said my relationship with Vista ended. I hated that Sam’s Club computer so much that I actually traded with my college student son for an older computer just so I could run an xp/Ubuntu dual boot machine [which is very easy to set up — easier than a Windows XP/Vista dual boot!]. Using his computer properly configured has been like falling in love all over again. I can’t think of a single Vista feature that I’ve missed — not even the 17″ monitor on the machine which made the computer just too darn big to lug around, but that’s not a Vista feature, either. By the way, the computer I’m now using is an HP DV6000 series which you could ‘buy now’ on eBay for as low as $349. Also, I got off the Microsoft Office upgrade cycle, too. I now use OpenOffice 3.01 which is ‘built in’ to the Ubuntu download and available as a free download for XP [or Vista].

Bottom line? Here’s the thing you need to think about. Microsoft’s need to generate OS and Application licensing revenue forces users into an expensive, Microsoft driven upgrade cycle that doesn’t serve most organizations well. Smart leaders need to think about ways to stop the insanity by purchasing used computers on eBay and using free or inexpensive open source tools like Ubuntu and OpenOffice in conjunction with cloud computing solutions like Google Apps.

By the way, if you’re stuck using Vista and aren’t brave enough to set up a dual boot arrangement with Ubuntu, at least use the Vista Services Optimizer to shut off all the dreck you don’t need, although I highly recommend trying the dual boot option for those times when all you need to do is check email and surf the web quickly. Call or write on the contact page if you want to talk more about these options…

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Making the switch from Microsoft Office to Web apps

Image representing Bill Gates as depicted in C...
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‘For him who has ears to hear!’ as the Good Book says. It’s possible to have a powerful computing experience without using a single Microsoft product [or paying a single penny to Bill Gates]…

“The only reason I’ve opened Microsoft Outlook or any other desktop e-mail program in the last year is to test tips. Since I added my ISP account to my Gmail in-box, and moved my Outlook appointments to Google Calendar, I get all the information I need in my browser.

Now I’m getting ready to boot Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for their Web alternatives, but before I bail on Office entirely, I stuck a toe in the Web-apps water by using the free ThinkFree Online service irregularly over the past few weeks. So far, I haven’t missed Word, Excel, or PowerPoint one bit. In fact, I appreciate the comparative simplicity of their Web counterparts, which have worked without a hitch–so far, at least.”

Click here to read more…

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"Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack…

Microsoft Office PowerPoint
Image via Wikipedia

… for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats” can help! Last week, I sent a PowerPoint preso to someone who couldn’t open it. I suggested that she download and install this free tool that is available at the source…

“By installing the Compatibility Pack in addition to Microsoft Office 2000, Office XP, or Office 2003, you will be able to open, edit, and save files using the file formats new to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007. The Compatibility Pack can also be used in conjunction with the Microsoft Office Word Viewer 2003, Excel Viewer 2003, and PowerPoint Viewer 2003 to view files saved in these new formats. For more information about the Compatibility Pack, see Knowledge Base article 924074.” Source: Download details: Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats

Install it and you’ll never run into those obnoxious Office incompatibility issues again!

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