Why Zoho will survive – Part 2

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It is perfectly natural for all the Web savvy people to get carried away. And at times like those, when you feel like there needs to be a reality check, people are around. Dead 2.0 has been calling that the web is getting hyped for a while. Dead 2.0 also felt that Zoho Show, when it first released, was primitive to put it mildly. While it was a bit too early to ‘judge’, this recent post sheds light on bubble-bursts. While laying down survival-tips, the author (unintentionally, ofcourse) mentioned these points, which would serve as an addendum to these posts on why Zoho will survive:

Affect real people, not just bloggers.  If your entire business is about giving away plugins to bloggers, you aren’t a business, you are an open source or closed source software pool. That might be fun, but it has no legs.  If you can sell your widget, then you license technology.  Anything short of that and you better be something that is used not just existing for its own sake.  Finally, and most importantly on this issue, remember that bloggers aren’t really spending much money to blog, and will probably continue this trend.

If you are evolutionary, then there needs to be a big enough market to address with a “we’re a little better than them” vision.  Not only that, you need enough of a differentiator to get users to make a switch in existing patterns, which is not easy nor is it cheap.

Zoho Sheet : Number/Date formatting, Sorting, Right-click menu & more

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The latest Zoho Sheet update (done yesterday) has a few interesting features. Much asked for things like number/date formatting, sorting, right-click context menu & inserting notes/comments to a cell are all in.

zoho-sheet-formatting-right-click

You can choose to display dates in various formats. A data range can be sorted with an option to leave out the header. With the new right-click context menu, you can easily access the various operations like Cut, Copy, Paste, Clear contents, Wrap, Insert and Delete Rows, Columns, Insert Comments, Sort, Column Width, Row Height, etc. The right-click menu also allows you can add comments/notes to a cell. The comment/note gets displayed while mousing over a cell.

Other than the above, the update also have bug fixes & other enhancements. To know more about the release, click here.

Among the latest Zoho users …

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… is this student Meredith, a teacher at the University of Virginia.

I really enjoyed learning about the Zoho services. I like having an alternative to the Microsoft Office Suite. Also, I like the ablity to access your documents from any computer. Students are not allowed to bring disks to and from school for fear of viruses. So, this would be an easy and safe way to let students work on their own papers or projects both at home and at school. I also shared the Zohos with my father who is a professor at the James Monroe Center of Mary Washington who is always looking for ways to help his students work on group projects easier.

‘The Hindu’ mentions Zoho again

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J Murali in his ‘Netspeak’ column at ‘The Hindu‘ has written about Zoho again. Previously, he’d written about Zoho Writer & this time it is about Zoho Show. From the ‘Netspeak’ column:

A stiff competition is brewing in the Web based office suite application realm. Many companies, including Google, are vying with each other to gain a rightful place in this fast growing lucrative segment. Zoho (http://zoho.com/), an on-line service with a wide array of products, is one such company eyeing the on-line office suite throne. Recently Zoho added the on-line presentation tool, Zoho Show (http://www.zohoshow.com/, for its office applications pack, which already has a good range of products such as Zoho Sheet and Zoho Writer.

Though Zoho Show lacks several features currently available with PowerPoint kind of products, it has some distinct advantages. The facility to import PowerPoint presentations is a notable feature. Yet another feature worth a mention is the facility to host remote live presentations. However, the current product is in beta and it may evolve into a full-fledged presentation application.

Thanks Murali! We are indeed bringing in new features to Zoho Show, even the last update had some.

Zoho Writer has another update

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We had a Zoho Writer update a couple of hours earlier. The update’s salient features below.

Tables now have headers. The first row of a table will have the header row by default. The columns of a table are now fixed. (before they used to vary as you type words into the cells). And the right click contextual menu for a table now contains a ‘Remove the Table Element’ option.

With the introduction of collaborative editing, a document that has been shared used to open in the ‘Preview’ mode. This has been changed for ease of use & all documents whether shared or not will open in the ‘Edit’ mode now. And do check the ‘Lock’ symbol on the top-left when sharing documents. A locked document (with a closed lock symbol) can’t be edited by others. Make sure a document is unlocked if you want the shared participants to work on it.

When you export Zoho Writer documents (‘Save As’ doc/odt/pdf etc formats to your desktop), the latest version in ‘History’ got exported previously. The last ‘auto saved’ version of the document will get exported from now on.

Zoho Show Update

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We did an update to Zoho Show yesterday. Many new features have been introduced. The release in a gist:

  • Import presentation files (ppt, sxi) of upto 5 MB (before it was 1 MB)
    • Import happens in the background while you can work without interruption
    • You get notified by email when import finishes/fails
  • Insert images from the web by giving URLs
  • Embed live charts, HTML code snippets & links
  • Set background color for objects
  • Keyboard shortcuts like Ctrl-S (Save), Alt-N (New), Alt-O (Open)
  • Bug fixes including some JavaScript memory leak issues

And, we have made a presentation to highlight the above! Click on this Zoho Show presentation & tell us what you think.

Update: Ramesh comments

Here is how you can publish a live chart from Zoho Sheet – http://blogs.zoho.com/sheet/publish-charts/

You need to copy the 1 line HTML code for publishing Zoho Sheet chart as mentioned in the above link and paste it into the Insert HTML window in Zoho Show. Changes to the chart data in Zoho Sheet will automatically be reflected in this published live chart in Zoho Show.

We also have plans to integrate this more tightly.