iNetWord is a free, AJAX-enabled WYSIWYG editor that comes damn close to proving that Web 2.0 can compete with desktop applications....

June 7, 2006

2 Min Read
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iNetWord is a free, AJAX-enabled WYSIWYG editor that comes damn close to proving that Web 2.0 can compete with desktop applications. Competing with the likes of Writely, recently acquired by Google and currently unavailable to new users until the move to Google is complete, iNetWord has come closer than most AJAX-enabled word processors in offering a near-Word experience.

ThinkFree Online and others like it thus far have failed to provide the full "Word" experience to on-line users. The base products are fine for simple editing needs, but little things like rich table formatting and easy image upload/browsing are still missing. Not so with iNetWord, which offers not only these options, but more, including document and image upload, a tabbed interface for switching between documents, and a rich interface that offers a more complete user experience than that of ThinkFree or Writely, including templates and complete control over document settings such as margins and print size.

iNetWord also allows you to easily publish documents as web pages, right to your site. This is pretty cool, though ThinkFree online also provides publishing direct to your blog or web site as well, so it certainly isn't a unique feature. iNetWord doesn't appear to offer sharing of documents as is possible with ThinkFree.

iNetWord is definitely impressive at this point, but still it does not adequately address protection of documents. This is a common theme, with end-user agreements clearly stating that security of documents and confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.

So while iNetWord is certainly a viable replacement in some cases, we certainly wouldn't recommend its use for documents of a sensitive nature in the enterprise. But for schools, which already take advantage of on-line essay submission sites that perform grammar evaluations and checks for plagarism on documents written by students, something like iNetWord would actually be a boon - from a budget and infrastructure maintenance perspective as well as to the students. With just a bit of cooperation between on-line editors like ThinkFree and iNetWord and student submission sites, costs associated with both desktop editors and storage in schools could be dramatically reduced and would provide students with access from both home and school, something that is increasingly difficult for students as concerns over the spreading of viruses through USB fobs and floppy disks continue to escalate and access to both is increasingly restricted.

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