TechRepublic: Can tiny Zoho beat Microsoft and Google in online office apps?

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Jason Hiner from TechRepublic has a great article “Sanity Check: Can tiny Zoho beat Microsoft and Google in online office apps?” asking users if Zoho can beat Google and Microsoft. He has some great discussion going on there. In the article Jason mentions…

In taking on Microsoft and Google in the office application arena, Zoho sees itself in the same mold as Microsoft taking on IBM in PCs in the early 1980s and Google taking on Microsoft and Yahoo in search in the past decade. It would be easy to wave off Zoho as a bug destined to be squashed, but judging by the quality of what Zoho has created so far, I wouldn’t count it out.

Jason rightly points to the three main weaknesses of Zoho as Business Model, Security and Full Offline Capability. We acknowledge these and its just a matter of time, these will be addressed.

Also, we believe that the online office apps market doesn’t belong to one or two big players. It is perfectly possible for small players like Zoho to build a profitable business by offering compelling products without “beating” the larger players.

Thanks for a great article Jason.

Zoho Wiki : Incoming Links & Notifications

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The Zoho Wiki update that happened during the weekend introduced a couple of nice features. A Wiki page can have links pointing to it from other pages of the Wiki. All these pages are now placed as links in a separate “Incoming Links” column in the side panel and this helps in improved navigation of the Wiki.

The owner/administrator of the Wiki is now notified by email once a day of the changes done to his/her wiki pages. This is a very handy feature. Assume you have your Wiki open to public. You will now know all the activity that has taken place over the course of the day in a gist.

Try these new features in Zoho Wiki and do share your feedback comments.

Opera Support in Zoho Notebook

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We rolled out an update fixing few Opera related issues in Zoho Notebook. With this update you’ll now be able to use most of the functionality of Zoho Notebook in the latest version of Opera. I am saying most of the functionality because we know there are still some pending issues (like Chat inside Notebook) which still needs some work. This is just a start. We will keep enhancing Opera support.


If you are an Opera user and face any issues, do let us know.

Zoho Mail recent update

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In the recent update that we had for Zoho Mail, we rolled out some of the most requested features. These features include:

Documents Tagging
In addition to existing folders way of organizing files, you can now assign as many tags as you’d like to your documents. This feature gives you the option to choose your preferred way of organizing files – folders and/or tags. Our goal is to provide common tags across all the components of Zoho Mail and as the first step to go ahead with this, it is implemented in the E-mail and Documents component.

Writer, Sheet & Show integration
Integration of Writer, Sheet and Show with Zoho Mail lets you open and edit your mail attachments (.doc, .xls, .ppt & .pps) directly without having them downloaded into your local computer. You can also open, edit and save files of .doc, .xls, .ppt & .pps type with versioning in Documents component.

Auto Reply
One of the most requested features, vacation auto reply has been added with this update. With this feature, now you can set up Zoho Mail to automatically generate and send vacation auto reply email messages to all or specific incoming emails. You can find this under Mail Options.

Private Messaging
Get your mail URL from Settings -> General -> Mail Accounts for your configured mail account, and use it in Forums, blogs, websites, etc., for others to send you private messages without exposing your email address to them.

Two types of aliases we introduced in this update. One for group and another for Contact category. With this new feature, now you can use group name or contact category name to send mail to all the members of the group or contacts of the category.

Other than the above-mentioned features, we have fixed a few issues too. Please do give these features a try and let us know what you think.

Switch to other Zoho services from Zoho Writer easily

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A small but very important and useful function got added in today’s Zoho Writer update. You will now notice a ‘Switch To’ link at the top of your Zoho Writer page. Click on that and in the drop-down menu that appears, you will find links to other Zoho apps. Allows you to open your other Zoho app accounts in new browser tabs easily from within Zoho Writer.

All the other Zoho applications will follow suit in having this option soon.

Zoho Facebook App Update

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We rolled out an update for our recently announced application on Facebook. This update include couple of enhancements.

  • Zoho Creator Applications are now part of Zoho Application for Facebook
  • Enhancements for login etc

If you have any database applications created using Zoho Creator, these applications are now available on Facebook. You can view and edit these applications.

We also made some enhancements on managing your account. Previously you had to login to Zoho every time you login to your Facebook account to view your Zoho Documents. This issue is now fixed. You just need to enter your existing Zoho Account details for the first time and we’ll link your Zoho account with your Facebook account. So you’ll see all your documents without having to login to Zoho every time. If you don’t have a Zoho Account, you can just provide us your email address and desired user name and we will create an account and link it directly to your Facebook account.

Do give it a try and let us know what you think. More updates are on the way.