Friday, July 27, 2007

Ajax Office

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If you have a fast enough internet connection, use ajax13 and you won't need to buy an Office software at all. The current applications offered are

1. ajaxWrite
2. ajaxSketch
3. ajaxXLS
4. ajaxPresents
5. ajaxTunes

Applications take a little while to load, the company quotes a '6 second' loading time, but it could take longer depending on your internet connection. Once the application is loaded, though, even a slow connection speed will suffice as the service connects only when some functions are used.

All applications have the same look and feel as the corresponding mainstream applications, while being full of ideas that haven't yet been incorporated anywhere. For example, you can save an ajaxWrite document directly in PDF format.

ajaxSketchajaxSketch is designed for people using Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape. The output is saved in the .svg format and can directly be opened with MS Visio, Illustrator, Inkscape or Macromedia Freehand.

ajaxXLSWhether you use MS Excel or the corresponding program in OpenOffice, ajaxXLS is compatible with both. You can open and edit spreadsheets using ajaxXLS and any formatting you use will be preserved across services within the platform. Currently in Beta, ajaxXLS looks like it still lacks some features (like creating a spreadsheet), but the application itself has a lot of possibilities.

ajaxPresentsWith ajaxPresents, you can view and edit Microsoft Power Point files (.ppt) as well as Open Standard Presentation files (.odp) files. Additionally, there's also an option of publishing your presentation by emailing it to the ajax13 team. Viewers can comment on and download the published presentations.

ajaxTunesajaxTunes lets you listen to songs from the company's repository of over 40,000 titles. With a small, desktop based player having all the basic music playing functions, you can access your personal locker of songs and you can even add the player to your website so visitors can listen to your collection.

All the services are OS and machine independent. And you don't need to worry about updates - they're taken care of by the ajax13 team. One glitch though, all services only work with Firefox. It makes sense to develop the product for other browsers like IE and Safari - especially since Firefox has a small market share and ajax13 will benefit from IE users who may want to use the suite.

While Google offers most of these services to online users, ajax13's services are more suitable for slower connections. The documents you create can be stored directly on your machine and a user buying a new computer may not need to buy MS Office at all. This direct saving may offset the price of subscribing to broadband for a few months, if not more.

From the look of it, it seems like ajax13 may want to get acquired as no monetization method is clear. The appearance of Relevant, Contextual ads on my documents could prove me wrong though. Do let me know what you think.

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