The Microsoft empire is showing some cracks in its veneer, and Google is showing through. Earlier this year, Google launched Google Docs, a free set of on-line programs that offer an alternative to Microsoft Word, Excel, and other Office programs.
GoogleDocs have one significant drawback, though, that kept me from embracing it. I couldn't use them offline. I love to write in a local park on nice days, far from any wireless connection, so this made Google Docs a non-starter for me.
Now, however, the free open-source (as in, written in code anyone can access,) suite of Office-like programs OpenOffice has unveiled a tool, OpenOffice2GoogleDocs, to solve this problem. The new program links OpenOffice to GoogleDocs.
For example, I could start a story in GoogleDoc's word processor on-line, but decide to finish it later off-line. By using OpenOffice2GoogleDocs, I could transfer the GoogleDoc to my laptop and finish it in OpenOffice's word processor.
Why, you might ask, would I want to go to this bother? For one example, GoogleDocs make a convenient platform for sharing projects.
Yes, this marriage carries the potential for discord, so I wouldn't recommend it to someone uncomfortable with debugging computer glitches. For those of you who are adamant about freeing yourself from Microbondage, though, this is another tool to expand your alternatives.