Zoho from around the net

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We are seeing Zoho gain good popularity among various cross sections of the net. Vinnie Mirchandhani, in a recent post of his has some good things to say about us. Some excerpts :

His [Sridhar’s] view towards customers is epitomized in the quote from Gandhi on his site. His pricing philosophy is summarized in the guest column he wrote a few weeks ago. He sponsors Jambav a site aimed at kids for special needs. He hires teenage kids who realistically have zero hope of ever going to college and ever being hired by India’s services firms, and encourages them to code and test.

Ok, so he probably will never approach YouTube’s valuation and media appeal. But it sure is a treat to meet an entrepreneur who marches to a different beat. Customer before investor. R&D before marketing. Values before valuation.

Lee Lalka, a teacher from Korea has made good use of Zoho Show. He has got a couple of nice slide shows made up in his site, “The Wisdom Tree”. Look for the “What are you thankful for? Presentation” and “Thanksgiving Food – Presentation” links in this page.

Thomas McMahon in his “Blog on a Stick” blog is using Zoho Creator for tracking his bugs.

I’ve started a bug tracker application to keep all the bugs, and feature requests, for my Firefox themes in one place. My goal is to not miss out on any requests. Check out the full bug tracker or the quick submit bug form.Basically, just fill in a few fields, hit submit and I’ll be notified via email. It’s that easy. It’s even got a developer comments area where I can respond to any issues.

Ashish, in his Life 2.0 blog, finds Zoho Sheet perform much better than Google Spreadsheets.

I started with Zoho Sheet, since spreadsheets are my preferred format for documentation over plain (or formatted) text. The first thing that struck me was just how much more responsive it felt as compared to Google Spreadsheets. I had learned to ignore the lag I felt in Spreadsheets as a compromize for using a web app over a desktop one and expected the same, if not more from Sheet. Not done, the Chennai guys seem to believe. Zoho Sheet genuinely feels and responds as smoothly as a Microsoft Excel on my desktop!

He feels Zoho Writer is a tad slow though compared to Google Docs. Thanks Ashish, for doing the performance test and nice write-up. We will definitely be improving our performance as regards Zoho Writer to match, if not exceed our competitor’s. And thanks to Vinnie (and Zoli for arranging the meet), Thomas & Lee too!!

Zoho Planner – A Usability Update

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The latest update at Zoho Planner addresses some of the major usability issues that you users have pointed out. Though AJAX has been a boon for the whole web with its non-loading pages, easy drag-and-drop etc, it can cause problems too (as compiled in this famous list of Ajax Mistakes).

One of the major flaws was breaking the browser’s back button functionality. This is now addressed in Zoho Planner. You can now move from one page to another and use the browser’s Back/Forward buttons to navigate. Going further we will be addressing the intra-page navigation too and expect them to be carried over to other Zoho apps as well!


The top ‘Insert’ menu has given way for a sleek menu bar with direct links. The link to iCal has gone inside the ‘Settings’ menu and the Add List Item/Reorder have gone to the bottom of a list (they were on top previously).



Do give the new Zoho Planner a try and do let us know where we need to improve.

Yes, notify me of new features in Zoho Sheet!

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You can now sign up for our new notification service at our service’s home page!


Just fill in your e-mail ID using the simple one-line form, and we will send you a (very) short notification e-mail once in a couple of weeks – updating you of the latest features added to your Zoho Sheet web service.

This way, you can easily keep track of features / functionality added to Zoho Sheet, as and when we roll them out – without having to keep checking the What’s New section upon your every visit.

Needless to say, we will NOT sell / share your e-mail ID with any other party, and we will NEVER spam you.

Happy spreadsheets to you! :)

Zoho Spottings

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Some excerpts from blogs around the net mentioning Zoho :

… from what I’ve seen, Zoho kicks Google’s ass in terms of features and usability. Zoho feels a lot like Microsoft Office, something which millions of computer users are sure to appreciate. Also, Google’s suite only offers two applications (word processing and spreadsheets) while Zoho has much, much more (presentations, planner, project management, instant messaging, etc.) and most of them are free.

I’d really like to see Zoho win this battle of the online office suites just so Google doesn’t dominate everything on the web.

Mark Punzalan, The RubeCube

… there is never a day without something new from the folks at Zoho. If you’ve never checked out the many web-based tools that Zoho provides (all free) they are MORE than worth a look.

– Gary Price, ResourceShelf

… seems Zoho wants to be everything, offering writing, spreadsheet, presentations, and many other tools. Among the most distinctive and potentially useful is Zoho Creator, which allows one to import a spreadsheet, create attractive forms based on the spreadsheet, and have an online database application up and running in ten minutes or so.

– Jonathan Eunice, Illuminata

… there are so many options here from sharing, to creating templates to seeing the documents history (Psst — If mess up and save over an older version, I can revert back easily to the original too!) that I can really see why web applications are becoming so popular. They just make stuff so easy … and the best part is —– I don’t need to install any software!!!!! smile\

Try out Zoho! See for yourself —- It’s Free!

Helene Blowers, PLCMC.org

Ken [Kenneth Hamma, keynote speaker at the Museum Computer Network conference] asked the audience to consider how much their institutions could save if they didn’t have to purchase, install, maintain and troubleshoot the Microsoft Office suite of products alone, and instead replaced it with online applications such as Zoho.


… these programs are slick, very user friendly, and definitely have me psyched about the possibiliy of a ready to go AJAX/Web 2.0 application and office suite.

They also include a very neat tool/option for small businesses and individuals called the Zoho Virtual Office, which acts a lot like your own desktop area to launch any of the previously mentioned Zoho Office programs, a calendar, scheduling items, a work space, and more.

Bryan Allen, GatorBat’s Ed Tech Perspective

Here is what I am thinking: Next time when a frustrated library patron comes to me and ask where to work on his paper/presentation on our library public workstations, I may ask them, do you have a zoho account?

Catch Up Library Learning 2.0

Also, Zoho forms a part of nice and huge list titled “Computer Tools that Support Learners“. And this post has colorful logos of different Zoho services pasted all over it.

Undo/Redo your actions in Zoho Sheet

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Many of our users had been asking for this one – you can now undo / redo your actions in your Zoho Sheet!

For ease of use, we’ve retained the long-standing keyboard shortcuts:

– to undo recent actions one at a time, press CTRL + Z

– to redo recent actions one at a time, press CTRL + Y

These are now supported upto 10 levels – which means you can undo / redo your changes upto 10 iterations back and forth.

The ‘Preview’ option now includes charts too, so that you can also preview charts in your sheet before printing them. Changes have been done to the ‘Preview’ option such that it will show only the current sheet.

Users would recollect that we’d recently made quite a few performance-improving changes to Zoho Sheet – most notably moving our service to a new technologically superior architecture. We’re now happy to announce that we’ve made further changes this week which should henceforth make your sheets load even faster. Do let us know if you can feel the difference – we’ve noted loading times of sheets decrease considerably.

Also, you can now import a file to your account from a public URL – a feature which was earlier available in our Online Excel Viewer. You can now avail of this feature from inside your account too.

“Your Online Office” at PCWorld

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Michael S. Laskey at the PCWorld has a good article titled “Your Online Office“. Some excerpts :

The sites clearly have something Microsoft currently does not: the ability to create easily shareable documents, spreadsheets, and calendars on any Internet-connected PC, regardless of OS–and without your having to install expensive software. After creating or editing your doc or worksheet in Google’s offering, for example, you can use one-click publishing to put it on public display at a unique Google-created URL. Or you can collaborate by sending an e-mail to workmates containing a link to edit a particular document. Both ThinkFree and Zoho offer similar sharing options.

All the suites largely mimic Office’s interface with familiar menus and toolbars, and create a desktop-app feel with Ajax (asynchronous JavaScript and XML). Largely credited as the magic behind the more interactive “Web 2.0” approach, the popular Ajax style of Web programming means that users don’t have to wait for a page refresh after making changes, and it can also enable right-click menus specific to the online application instead of to the Web browser.

Though the online apps are currently lacking in comparison with Office, they’re developing fast. …one advantage of a fully online app is that you don’t need to download (or pay for) updates to obtain newly added features or fixes–next time you log in, they’re already there.

Zoho also offers fee-based products, including a “Virtual Office” suite with e-mail, documents, and calendaring that a company can run on its own servers, along with other productivity tools. The Virtual Office on-premise version is free for up to ten users.

The online suites that do stick around will no doubt continue to evolve quickly.

The online office apps from Zoho continue to evolve (followers of this blog would know it) and we have come a long way since we launched Zoho Writer Alpha in September 2005. Already there are students, teachers, lawyers, writers and people of all professions around the world using Zoho. If you haven’t yet, do give Zoho a try. You don’t even have to register as we have quick create and demo options for you to give a feel before you can jump into the online office bandwagon.

Children’s Day Celebrations

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For the non-Indians reading this post, a short primer. India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, was very fond of children and they affectionately called him ‘Chacha (Uncle) Nehru’. So Nov 14 his birthday, is celebrated as the Children’s Day every year in honor of him.

AdventNet is a young company and the average age is around 25. We have a lot many folks just into their 30s who have married recently & have kids (that includes me ;-)). And remember, AdventNet also funds the site named Jambav targeting children of all abilities and their parents.

So, with this background, hope you all can see how well Children’s day would have been celebrated. We chose Nov 18 (a bit late but then it was the nearest weekend) as the day to celebrate this year’s day with the kids.

There were fancy dress competitions, dances, song recitals, mimicries and much more. And the highlight of the evening was the amazing performance given by the kid drummer, Siddharth. He is a prodigy of sorts, having already won many an accolade not only in India but across the world. He is just a fourth grader and he had the crowd on their feet. Just watch him perform below.

Update : WordPress isn’t accepting the YouTube code to be embedded here. To see Siddharth’s performance, click here. (turn your speakers on)
Some snaps from the evening, of course as a slideshow in Zoho Show 😉

As you can see from the snaps, we parents had lots of fun too! Looking forward to next year’s celebs already.