Dion Names Zoho as the Best Office Suite of 2006

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It’s certainly encouraging when the first day of the year starts with an article that names you as one of the best software in the space the previous year.

Dion Hinchcliffe in his recent artcle named Zoho Suite as the best Office 2.0 Suite. In his words…

The Office 2.0 phenomenon become a true reality this year as just about any kind of business application could be found in a purely browser version. Zoho has been diligently releasing product and product this year and now has entire online productivity suite that has a word processor, spreadsheet, wiki, project management, presentation, contact management, and much more. While you can find the individual pieces from various other Web apps, Zoho provides a nice integrated, one-stop package that is very reminiscent of Microsoft Office. Microsoft and Google have been slow to get fully into this space and it may very well end up that smaller players establish dominance in an area that most expected the Big Two would dominate in this space. And an important space it is too: Online apps ultimately will be where our software and data is for most users, and establishing leadership in this product space with the Web as the only major new software paltform on the horizon is a major open opportunity.

As Dion puts it, we are moving towards a complete online productivity suite with all our releases in 2006. In his previous article for 2005, Zoho Writer (we only had one product then) came in as a runner-up. We are glad to graduate to the winner slot this time. All the credit goes to our stellar development team. Look forward for a more interesting 007.

Recap: Zoho in 2006

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On this final day of 2006 I want to take a few minutes to recap a great year for Zoho. There were many product releases, many many updates and other interesting news as well. Here is a short summary.

Here are the new product releases we did in 2006.

We also released some useful tools that enhance our offerings.

Product updates are as important as product releases. Here is a brief summary.

Zoho Writer – 30+ Updates
Zoho Sheet – 20 Updates
Zoho Show – 20+ Updates
Zoho Creator – 20 Updates

…and the list goes on.

We also announced partnerships with Intel & WebEx.

As we released each new product/feature, we received great support from you, and the same was reflected in traffic stats.

We are happy on our progress in 2006. There are interesting challenges ahead in 2007 and we are looking forward to them.

We want to serve you better than the previous year and wish you a very Happy New Year!!!

How people use Zoho Sheet

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Here is a sample list of how people use Zoho Sheet:

1. www.whenkilledlikeroosters.com uses Zoho Sheet and other Web 2.0 tools to enable collaborative ranking of albums and songs. The list of songs sorted by the score / rating is listed on their website using the Publish Range feature in Zoho Sheet. Check out the following links :

http://www.whenkilledlikeroosters.com/albums/
http://www.whenkilledlikeroosters.com/participate/

Notice how seamlessly it integrates into their website.

2. Brad at www.circuitcalculator.com, has created this online calculator long back using Zoho Sheet to find the width of a PCB trace based on power dissipation. This can even be embedded into a web page / blog now.

http://circuitcalculator.com/wordpress/2006/04/20/find-pcb-trace-width-based-on-power/

3. InnovativeCommunities.org embeds lot of published ranges and graphs in one of their pages:

http://innovativecommunities.org/pages/30.php

4. 1920yankees.blogspot.com uses Zoho Sheet for recording baseball scores. Check out the Box Score link at the top and the published range at the bottom.

http://1920yankees.blogspot.com/2006/12/june-9th-yankees-11-tigers-3.html

5. Here is nice analysis of participation inequality taking the rating of YouTube videos as an example. Zoho Sheet is used to do the analysis and to embed the interactive spreadsheet in this blog.

http://21st.blogspot.com/2006/10/participation-inequality-new-pareto.html

6. WebtopOS opens up Zoho’s office tools from the Web Office Tools icon on its web desktop.

http://webtopos.com/alpha/Demo/webtop/

7. Our friends at Jambav have created this interactive “parenting stress level checklist” in Zoho Sheet and have embedded it in their website for parents to try out.

http://www.jambav.com/jambav/checklist/parentingstress.php

How are you using Zoho Sheet? Do share your story with us on our discussion forum – http://forums.zohosheet.com/viewforum.php?f=138

Zoho features in PC World’s “The Web’s Most Useful Sites”

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Ryan Singel at PC World looked at the best of the new Web services in 14 categories and has his results at “The Web’s Most Useful Sites“. While Zoho Writer won the best word processor, Zoho Sheet came runner-up in the spreadsheets category.

Zoho Writer features a hideable list of documents divided into sections for private, shared, and public documents, plus templates. Like Google Docs and ThinkFree, Zoho Writer can publish items directly to a blog and can save and import a range of text document formats, from Microsoft Word to HTML. With a plug-in for Microsoft Word, you can save from that application directly to your Zoho account.

It includes most of the common word processing features, from multiple undo to find-and-replace to extensive text formatting. You can also edit the HTML of a document, but the feature is so hidden you must use the search box to find it. Besting both Google and ThinkFree overall, Zoho handles multiple documents in a single window via tabs and lets you embed a Zoho spreadsheet in a Writer document. Modifying the spreadsheet automatically updates the Writer files.

Zoho Sheet’s clear icon-based controls, snappy response, intuitive keyboard navigation, graphs, and sharing options (which let you decide who can read particular worksheets in a document) make this an excellent tool for collaboration. It should improve as Zoho adds real-time collaboration and integrates it with other office offerings.

Thanks to Ryan & PC World! And thanks to all you Zoho users whose continuous feedback suggestions have kept us doing the right things, making this possible! Expect more from Zoho in 2007.

Zoho Apps in 2007?

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SaaS-a-fras asks a question in his recent post about new products from Zoho in 07.

How many new products will Zoho launch in 07?

Frankly, we dont know the answer for this. While we surely will release some apps, no one (including Zoho) can answer this question.

A decision to do a product could take few months in some cases to couple of hours in other cases. The source of ideas can be from anywhere. They come from internal teams in some cases or it could even come from you…..oh yea…you guys force us to do some products. Let me give you an example. Earlier this year when we released Zoho Writer and Sheet we didnt have fixed plans on doing a presentation app. But then users started asking us about release dates of our presentation app when we didnt even decide to do a presentation app at that point. More users kept asking us about the presentation app and that fuelled the development effort. We quickly setup a team for Zoho Show (during Jan) and then released Zoho Show in June. Now thats all history. The point is, we dont know how the market will turn out to be in 2007….and we also dont know in what direction you’ll take us by forcing us to do some new apps :). Things change at a great pace and its really tough to say how many new apps we will do in 2007.

That being said, we will release some apps that we think are essential for Zoho suite. If you do have ideas on some products you think will add value to zoho suite, please do drop is a line (info at zoho dot com) and we can talk.

Zoho Wiki Update

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We had an excellent response to the Zoho Wiki release. Thanks to all who have created their Wikis and sent us your valuable feedback comments! We have collected some blog posts and news articles across the net mentioning the release. This Zoho Wiki page has all the details.

We had an update yesterday which fixed a couple of bugs. Many Zoho users have underscore as part of their user names. And when this underscore got transferred to the Zoho Wiki sub-domain, it caused a few issues. We addressed this by automatically converting the underscore in the user’s name to an hyphen. So a Zoho Wiki domain like http://arvind_natarajan.wiki.zoho.com will now automatically redirect to http://arvind-natarajan.wiki.zoho.com.

We received a few feedback mails from our users saying that an error page got displayed and the Wiki they created could not be accessed. Our sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused. Analyzing this, we found that such accounts weren’t formed fully due to a bug. For correcting this, we would like only those users who created an account but couldn’t access it and got the error page with the message “Server Error Occurred. Please try again later or please write to us at support@zohowiki.com” to delete and re-add their Zoho Wiki by following the below procedure :

  1. Login to https://accounts.zoho.com.
  2. You will find Zoho Wiki listed under ‘My Zoho Services’
  3. Click on the ‘Remove’ link for the Zoho Wiki entry.
  4. You will be asked for your password and confirmation. Once you confirm, the ‘Zoho Wiki’ entry will get moved to the ‘Try other Zoho Services’ table below.
  5. Now click on the ‘Add New’ link of the Zoho Wiki entry
  6. Zoho Wiki will get re-added to the ‘My Zoho Services’ table again
  7. Clicking on the Zoho Wiki link will open your Wiki in a new browser tab/window and you should be able to access your Wiki now

Please do mail your feedback suggestions and queries about Zoho Wiki to feedback at zohowiki dot com.