‘The Minnesota Daily’ on Zoho

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‘The Minnesota Daily’ in an article titled ‘Microsoft Office on the way out‘ reports that some government agencies in the USA have banned usage of Vista on their computers. The article points incompatibility with other software as the reason. It goes on to add that online office applications have already started making inroads and has the below to say about Zoho :

Even more exciting than Google’s new offering is another online program called Zoho. Unlike Google Apps, Zoho has its own version of PowerPoint and can produce charts from spreadsheets; as of now. Zoho is additionally compatible with Microsoft Office and allows users to work in Office while offline and transfer work easily back and forth.

Currently, it is most useful to use Google Apps and Zoho in conjunction with Microsoft’s already established and universally accepted Office programs. It is, however, worth noting how quickly the online applications have made their mark, and the abundance of options can only mean good things for students and consumers.

Zoho in PC World’s 101 Fantastic Freebies

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PC World released a list of ‘101 Fantastic Freebies‘ breaking them into 23 categories. Under ‘Office Productivity in Software and Services’ category, Zoho is listed as a winner. Other freebies in this category includes Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Ajax13, OpenOffice etc. Thanks PC World. We are glad you see the value.

Also, recently Online Education Database created a list for ‘Top 25 Web 2.0 Apps to Improve a Student’s or Professor’s Productivity‘ where Zoho Projects and Zoho Creator were selected and several other Zoho Applications also available as alternatives.

ToonDoo : Unleashing Office Unproductivity

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Ready for some office unproductivity? Folks at Jambav (funded by Zoho’s parent company, AdventNet) have come out with a fun site named ToonDoo. ToonDoo is an easy way to create comic strips. You can choose from the characters, props, backgrounds available and can also upload your own images. It takes just 5 minutes to make a strip.

Within AdventNet, ToonDoo gets a lot more visits than Zoho – reassuring to know our engineers have their priorities figured out. As our CEO, Sridhar likes to quote the quote “If you enjoyed the time you wasted, you didn’t waste it after all”.

Zoho Wiki Enhancements

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Since the release of Zoho Wiki Beta, we have made available some oft-asked-for features by our users. Listing them below :

  • You can rename your Wiki page title
  • Delete option for the wikis you created
  • Optional ‘Table of Contents’ for a Wiki page (Headings in the page will be made part of the TOC and linked when you choose that option)
  • Performance improvements for faster loading of the wiki pages

Other than the above, we have fixed a few bugs too. Coming up next are improvements to the current navigational system. Till we get that in place, please use the ‘Wiki Index’ at the bottom of your Wiki page for listing all the pages in your Wiki.

Do tell us if you have would like to have anything specific in Zoho Wiki.

Zoho Sheet Major Update: Collaborative Editing, Chat Integration & More

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We just rolled out an important update in Zoho Sheet. The key features include

- Collaborative Editing
- Zoho Chat Integration
- Extended API
- Open Document Sheet Support

Collaborative Editing:

With this update, multiple users can work on the same spreadsheet at the same time. When you open a spreadsheet that someone is working on, you’ll see a small message informing this.

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From then on, all the changes made by multiple users will be reflected immediately.

Zoho Chat Integration

If you want to chat with the users working on the sheet, just click on the chat icon (chaticon.jpg) at the bottom right corner and it’ll open up the chat interface.

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APIs

We also extended our APIs for Zoho Sheet for reading more granular data like a cell or cell range. APIs are now available in 3 formats – XML, CSV and JSON (also JSONP). Complete API documentation is available here.

The following video demonstrates these functionalities.

Do give these new features a try and let us know what you think.

Update: I forgot to mention another significant feature we added with this update – OpenDocument Sheet (.ods) Support. Now you can import and export .ods sheets into Zoho Sheet. Thanks Samy for observing this.

Announcing Zoho Meeting

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We are glad to announce the latest addition to the Zoho Suite, Zoho Meeting – a web conferencing application.

As this is a different kind of application (more of a real-time streaming) from the existing zoho applications we decided to take it slow by offering the app to selected users first. We hope to open up the application to public in April.

As with other web conferencing applications, Zoho Meeting lets you schedule meetings, share desktop, chat etc. However it offers few unique functionalities. For the current release, the host has to be on windows and the attendees can be on Windows, Mac, Linux or any OS with Java or Flash available. The attendees need not install anything to attend a meeting.

Meeting also is integrated into Zoho Show. This means you can now embed your desktop sharing session inside a slide. The complete desktop sharing session can also be recorded and shared with the attendees right away. The follwing video should give you a brief intro to the app. By the time it steps out of private beta, you’ll see more exciting features.

Zoho Writer integrates Zoho Chat

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As you may know, Zoho Writer supports collaborative editing. This means multiple users can work on the same document at the same time when the document is shared among these users. With todays update, you can also chat with the users working on the document.

When a document is shared with other users, you’ll see a participant section appear on the left bar which lists the users to whom you shared the document.
writer-chat.jpg
Click on the chat icon beside the username and it’ll launch the chat session.

chatframe.jpg

Now, as long as the other user is logged into any Zoho application that has Zoho Chat integrated (Zoho Mail has integrated currently and we have more coming) he’ll see your message and can chat from that application.

Please do give it a try and let us know what you think.