April 20, 2007

A month-long dive into web-based apps

Wired News editor and Mac-user Michael Calore used nothing but Google Apps for a month. Here's his report.

At first, he's ecstatic, then he starts to see cracks in the system...

The first major stumbling block was Google Talk, the web-based chat client. I could chat with other Gmail users, but I couldn't connect to my co-workers on AOL Instant Messenger or Yahoo Messenger. Something about the way our proxy servers are configured was blocking Google Talk.

I tried a few hacks that I found online, but they didn't work. After two days, with a cold feeling of isolation creeping in, I gave up and went back to Adium. Not Google's problem, but a problem nonetheless.

Problems With Microsoft Office: Google Docs & Spreadsheets threw a wrench into the works, too. Since the rest of my co-workers continued to use Microsoft Office on the desktop, if I wanted to share a spreadsheet or document with them, I would have to export the file to my desktop and mail it.
Well, not if your co-workers used and shared the document in Google Docs. And you can always download a Google Doc as a PDF, Word Doc or RTF file. I don't see the problem, frankly.

Bye, Bye Drag and Drop: In Gmail especially, the loss was palpable. To attach a file to an e-mail, I'd always just drag it from the desktop onto an open message. But not in the browser -- there's a whole heap of clicking and menu navigation involved.
He obviously needs Lifehackers Greasemonkey Firefox add-on for Gmail.

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