Google Docs gets Wave-like chat features

Google has revamped the comments feature of its online word processor, adding some features formerly seen in its Wave product

By Keir Thomas, PC World |  Unified Communications, google docs, google wave

It's a pretty sweet feature and works well in practice. I can imagine many ways it could be improved. At present the new feature only works in the word processor, for example, but there's no reason why it can't be included in other apps (there are hints it'll be incorporated soon). Additionally, it'd be great if--just like with Wave--discussion messages could have attachments, so items like pictures could be auditioned between staff members before being inserted. Wave also allowed users to include widgets, such as tools that allow voting. Again, it would be awesome if that appeared here: workers could vote on particular document modifications.

I suspect that Google might not be entirely happy about the comparisons to Wave, however. Indeed, they may have deliberately kept the new discussions feature nice and unambitious at the present time to avoid comparisons.

As with all new Docs features rolled-out by Google, it might not be available to all users immediately, but it will be soon. Google Apps for Business users should also find it arriving soon, although not those who've opted for the scheduled release track.

The Discussion tool further enhances the killer feature of Google Docs: collaborative editing. Yes, Google Docs significantly lags behind Microsoft Office in terms of features, but when it comes to collaborative editing, the two are not in the same league. Office offers nowhere near the simplicity and accessibility of the collaborative working methods provided by Google Docs.

If nothing else, Docs is a poke in the eye to Sharepoint, Microsoft's own collaborative toolkit. Sharepoint is still built around the client-server model, just how Microsoft likes things, and proves that--arguably--Microsoft just doesn't get how we work today.

Keir Thomas has been making known his opinion about computing since the last century. His latest Kindle ebook has just gone on sale . You can learn more about him at http://keirthomas.com . His Twitter feed is @keirthomas .


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