Orca Desktop includes Zoho Apps

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If you have’nt tried Orca Desktop app (in Beta), you probably should give it a try. It is a well implemented virtual desktop application. You can try it here. [login as demo/demo]

Orca folks integrated Zoho apps into their desktop. You can launch Zoho Writer and Zoho Sheet from their Virtual Desktop. This is a good first step integration. Here is a screenshot.

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Looking forward for more such integrations.

Range Voting using Zoho Polls

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One of our users of Zoho Polls has created this wonderful poll to demonstrate Range Voting.

http://zohopolls.com/brokenladder/2008-u-s-presidential-election-poll-using

We used to call it a rating poll, which is a type of range voting. From the above poll, we came to know about range voting and got introduced to rangevoting.org, the Center for Range Voting (CRV). Its goals are to educate the public about the advantages of range voting and comparative disadvantages of other systems and to lobby for its adoption.

We have always felt that range voting is the best approach to arrive at a general consensus. We have ourselves used this rating approach to decide on home page designs, song selection for performances, rating the food, deciding on the name of a product / service that we are building, etc.

As per the description of the poll featured above:

This mock election should help gain insight into the 2008 U.S. Presidential race, as well as demonstrate the superiority of Range Voting to other voting methods.

Rate any candidates you want to. You can just ignore any candidate that you don’t care about, or don’t know enough about to vote on; your non-vote simply won’t affect that candidate. The candidate with the highest average rating wins. Simple, huh?!

Finally, notice something interesting about this election? We’re running several candidates, giving voters real choice. With Range Voting, you don’t get the kind of Perot/Nader spoiler effect, where voting for a “third party” candidate effectively works as a vote for your least favorite candidate. That’s a quality that you won’t find in other alternative voting methods, like instant runoff voting.

That is the power of range voting. You get to rate each item in the poll and the one with the highest average rating wins. This will be inline with the general consensus of the voters. Visit rangevoting.org for more details.

That said, the normal voting / plurality voting poll is also useful in different scenarios. The type of poll basically depends on your need.

Here is a pie chart which depicts the percentage split-up of voting and rating polls created by the users of Zoho Polls. Even though the number of rating polls is less than voting polls, 37% is still a very good number.

Poll types usage in Zoho Polls - http://zohosheet.com
Chart powered by zohosheet.com

We are also discussing with rangevoting.org and betterpolls.com, another poll service, on how we can work together for the improvement of the service.

Zoho, part of bloggers’ poems

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Found a couple of poems with Zoho in them.

Yo ho ho
I discovered Zoho
I created a doc
web-based (no shock).
With just a little moxy
I tried out 30 boxes
Input a few dates
and I’m feeling just great
But it’s getting kind of late
And this rhyme’s begun to deflate………….

T.Tallent

It’s Monday night, my brain is fried,
But I want that player, so I tried.
First in Zoho, but it wouldn’t blog,
So now in Writely, I continue to slog.

It’s really cool, many uses I can see,
Plus advantages for you and me.
Open anywhere, no discs, no fuss.
Of all the tools, this is a must.

So goodnight, bloggers fair.
I’ll try to post this, do I dare?
Third time is charmed, I hope and pray,
Because it’s way too late to play!

The Happy Reader

Aint that cute to have Zoho form a part of poems? :-) Thanks folks!

A note for those of you (like ‘the Happy Reader’) not being able to post to blogger.com blogs from Zoho Writer : We are facing some intermittent problems when posting to blogger.com blogs due to something being wrong with Blogger’s Atom API that Zoho Writer depends on to post to blogger.com blogs. This thread has the details. We are waiting for the Google Blogger team to find the root cause of this issue & have a permanent solution. In the meantime, please try reposting to your blog after a few minutes & it may succeed (it is working for me now).

If the posting to your blog still fails, please try the workaround posted here :

http://forums.zohowriter.com/viewtopic.php?p=53287#53287

Do try posting using the above methodology. If you still face any issues, you can write to me at aravind[at]zoho[dot]com.

Sorry for the inconvenience caused. Kindly bear with us till we get this issue fully resolved.

Powerful ’sheet-level’ sharing with your Zoho Sheet

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Did you know that Zoho Sheet’s ‘sheet-level’ sharing options can be a powerful tool in enhancing your ‘online collaboration’ experience?

Whether it is

  • Sharing different sheets in the same workbook among a group of power users with different access privileges (for example: preparation of an organization’s typical quarterly financial statement which may contain multiple worksheets like balance sheet, schedules, income statement, cash flow statement – each individual sheet with different access privileges for different users based on their ‘need-to-know’ status) or
  • Sharing the entire workbook among different users withe options to control access to each individual user or for the entire group (for example: a project activity tracker, with ‘modify data’ rights to managerial users and read-only access to others).

You can share entire workbooks with users, hide individual sheets from users whom you don’t want it displayed while displaying it to others at the same time, or just form your own group of users granted with different access privileges depending on your specific needs.

As soon as you’re done creating a spreadsheet that is ready to be shared, you can find that Zoho Sheet contains an easy-to-find menu option called ‘Share’ (placed conveniently in the top menu bar – you can’t miss it).

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The ‘Share’ option offers you a small controls platform using which you can allow/restrict people to access your spreadsheets.

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You can choose between multiple options – marking your whole workbook (Entire Document) as ‘Shared’ – with ‘Read Only’ access to some users and ‘Read/Write’ access to others, or marking individual worksheets as ‘Shared’ with different privileges for different users.

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On clicking the ‘Share’ option, we find that it contains two tabs – ‘Share’ & ‘Shared Details’. The ‘Share’ option helps us set the above-mentioned sharing privileges, while the ‘Shared Details’ contains information about the sharing levels set & helps us view the share options we’ve set for our spreadsheet when we return later.

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You can change/remove your settings from the ‘Share’ menu or access it even from the sheet name tab.

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The potential uses for such sharing are many and can be used by users across all walks of life – whether you work in an organization where multiple users need to process/work on the same worksheet with different access levels provided to each user depending on hierarchy or responsibilities or you are a Marine Biologist performing research with collaborators across continents or you are a University Lecture Assistant who needs to collate intra-department/class results internally with other departments before publishing collated results to students – Zoho Sheet’s ‘sheet-level’ sharing is for you! :)

Zoho Partners with WebEx

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We are glad to announce a partnership with WebEx. Zoho is excited to be part of WebEx Connect.

The partnership starts with Zoho CRM integration and will span across most of Zoho applications. The next update of Zoho CRM will have the ability to schedule/start WebEx Meetings directly from Zoho CRM interface. Here is a quick screenshot.

zoho-webex
zoho-webex-integration

Here is a press release on this.

Looking forward for a strong relationship.

Raju

Update : For a quick overview, please have a look at the video on Zoho CRM – WebEx Integration

Live Demo: #

User Name/Password: demo@zohocrm.com/demouser

Zoho Planner now supports Safari and Opera!

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Zoho Planner had an update a few hours earlier that brought in some cool new features.

We receive constant feedback from Safari & Opera users to make Zoho applications work on these browsers. As the first Zoho app, Zoho Planner now works on Safari (2.0+) & Opera (9.0+). Zoho Planner already supports Firefox, Mozilla & Internet Explorer.

zoho-planner-safari-opera-support

We have tested Zoho Planner on multiple versions of both the browsers. There may be untested versions, so do write to us if you come across any issues.

Users have been asking to collapse & expand todo lists & notes. This has been done in the latest update. Another feature to roll in is the facility to delete all your completed todo list items in one go.

Till now you can private share your pages with Read & Write (Edit) privilege or have them shared to public. Now you can private share your pages in Zoho Planner with Read Only (View) permission too.

planner-sharing

Check out the latest Zoho Planner & tell us what you think. Do write to us if you have any specific feature requests.

Jake Ludington on the Zoho Office Suite

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Zoho’s online office suite apps, Zoho Writer, Zoho Sheet & Zoho Show got extensively reviewed by Jake Ludington’s MediaBlab. From the review :

Many companies have tried with limited success to take on Microsoft Office. … Recently a number of Web apps have been appointed the “MS Office killers” for various reasons. I think the demise of Microsoft’s cash cow is greatly over exaggerated , but the online versions succeed in usability where their downloadable counterparts have failed at providing a highly usable experience . My favorite of this category is Zoho Office Suite, which includes a spreadsheet, word processor and basic presentation maker.

If you need most of the features of Microsoft Word, but it isn’t on your computer or simply isn’t in your budget, you could download one of those bulky free Office Suites, like OpenOffice or Software 602, but there’s an easier solution. Zoho Writer is a browser-based word processing application with every feature I typically use in Microsoft Word.

Zoho Sheet is perfect for light duty spreadsheet usage. It does all the basic spreadsheet calculations. Zoho Sheet imports data from existing Excel and OpenOffice Calc files as well as CSV files. Like Zoho Writer you can either work in a mode that requires no login or create an account to maintain a set of online spreadsheet files.

Like PowerPoint, Zoho Show creates slide decks for presentations. From adding graphics and text, to adding timed transitions, Zoho Show will do basic presentation tasks. … , Zoho Show is quick and easy to use – and if you’ve got an Internet connection, you never need to worry about not being able to access your presentation from any machine with Firefox or Internet Explorer.

And Jake pointed out about the various Zoho applications requiring signing up for each
one separately & Zoho Show’s lack of audio/video support. We will addressing them soon. Thanks Jake, for the wonderful review!