The Cloud, Day 4: Checking Out Google Docs

I test cloud-based productivity suites to choose one to use for the rest of the 30 Days With the Cloud series, starting with Google Docs.

By Tony Bradley, PC World |  Cloud Computing, google docs

30 Days With the Cloud: Day 4

As I spelled out on Day 3 of 30 Days With the Cloud, I am going to spend a day with each of the three online productivity suites to see how they meet my needs. After taking a look at each, I'll pick the one I want to use for the remainder of the cloud series. So, let's start with Google Docs.

User Interface

I actually like the Microsoft ribbon interface, and I am used to working with Microsoft Office programs and files using the ribbon. By comparison, the Google Docs menus seem a little old-fashioned, and limiting. That said, the necessary features and functions all seem to be represented and easily accessible, so the interface serves its purpose.

File Storage

Google Docs provides 1GB of free storage. It doesn't sound like much, but there is a caveat--none of the files I create in Google Docs, or files I convert to Google Docs formats count against the quota. So, in essence the file storage is virtually unlimited, with an additional 1GB of storage for non-Google Docs data.

Above and beyond the file storage provided by Google itself, though, Google Docs is also closely integrated with Box--which provides 5GB of storage for free. I am going to dig into the online storage options separately later in the 30 Days With the Cloud series, but I do use Box so I appreciate the partnership.

Again, this is something that I will cover in more detail when I get into cloud storage, but Box lets me create new docs or spreadsheets with Google Docs right from the Box site. It is worth noting, however, that opening the files I already have stored on Box using Google Docs seems to be a complex process. If I click the option to edit a file from within Box, it actually uses Zoho Editor rather than Google Docs.

Compatibility

Google understands that it is important to be able to read from and save to the common Microsoft Office file formats. It has invested a significant amount of effort in working to maintain consistent formatting in converting the file back and forth.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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