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Online Office Suites

Although it can be satisfying to develop your own website, it can also consume a lot of time. This is time you could devote to your professional and business activities rather than to the intricacies of html, php, javascript and web design. Sometimes it just makes more sense to let someone else build the website and just get on with your business. That's where hosted, online office suites come in.

Online Office suites are offered by websites in the form of software as a service. They offer the ability to use the common software-based office tools online. They can be accessed online from any Internet-enabled device running any operating system. This allows you to work singly or with colleagues worldwide and at any time, thereby leading to international web-based collaboration and virtual teamwork. Generally, the basic versions of these suites are offered free. For more advanced versions you pay a subscription fee.

The advantages of an online office suite are several. There is no software to download and install. There are no upgrading hassles when new features are added or bugs eliminated. They can run out of thin clients with minimal hardware requirements. They provide the ability to share documents with several users without your own server. There is no need to purchase or upgrade a software license.

Of course, there are some disadvantages as well. All your data resides on a remote server, which means you do not have control over data security. Most of the currently available online office suites require a high broadband Internet connection and even then the performance will not be comparable to a desktop application. Finally, online office suites lack many of the features available on desktop office applications, although the difference in available features is progressively narrowing.

The most popular online office suites include: MS Office Live, Ajax13, Google Docs, Thinkfree, Zoho, Zimbra, and eDeskOnline.


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