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Friday, 05 September 2008 06:30

Zoho launches online 'desktop'

Zoho, a much smaller competitor to Google and Microsoft in the increasingly heated online office applications market, has enhanced its suite of services with Zoho Docs, an online file repository and management system that has some of the features the Mac OS desktop with its drag and drop folders and Quick Look file content inspection.

Zoho share is billed as a central repository that aggregates and lists all business and personal user content published in Zoho Show presentations, Zoho Sheet spreadsheets, and Zoho Writer documents and PDFs. It is designed to enable personal Zoho users to share content created with Zoho apps.

It integrates all of a user's private files from Other Zoho applications: Zoho Writer, Zoho Sheet, Zoho Show, and non-Zoho applications, making them available within a single interface. According to Zoho, "While Microsoft and Google focus on battling against each other for dominance in the online Office market, Zoho has its eyes set on delivering new, innovative apps that help people work better online."

“Zoho Docs highlights the direction we're moving in, which favours context over applications," said Raju Vegesna, Zoho evangelist. “When users are looking for a file, they don't want to think about which application created it, they just want the information to be readily available. Zoho Docs fosters this notion of context-based work by bringing all of a user's content to a single place without having to go to any individual application. It's all about integration and providing information to our users."

Zoho says that users of its existing Zoho Business service (the premium, charged version of its free applications) will recognise Zoho Docs as the 'Documents' section of that application. "The main Desktop window is flanked on the left by My Folders, My Groups, My Views, and My Tags sections, which may be expanded or collapsed. Likewise, users can resize the split panes to give more or less space to the Desktop."
Zoho Docs supports hierarchical folders as well as drag-and-drop folder management and is pre-populated with the root 'My Folders', 'Trash', 'Shared to Me', and 'Shared by Me' folders, to support the collaboration features of Zoho. Zoho files can be opened quickly in non-edit mode, like Apple Quick Look, or opened and edited in their respective Zoho applications.

In addition to Zoho file formats, users can upload other file formats to Zoho Docs, including ZIP and PDF. All uploaded files are scanned for viruses. A video tour of Zoho Docs is available here.

Launch of Zoho Docs follows that of Zoho Share last week . Zoho now has a total of 10 productivity and collaboration apps for personal use and eight business apps (all apps, personal and business are available free to personal users). They are available in over 20 languages.

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