Free alternatives to the juggernaut word processor
Microsoft Word has been the go-to word processor since the early 90s. It’s a program that anyone who’s ever used a computer will recognize and for good reason—it’s both capable and common. Documents with .doc (or .docx) extensions are ubiquitous and widely recognized as the file format of choice for formatted text files. Although it’s relatively affordable in its modern incarnations—$139.99 for home use or $6.99 a month as a subscription service (as part of the Office suite)—freeware alternatives abound and for once, they’re more than capable.
We use nothing but Google's lightweight, cloud-based OS for a week
When Google announced Chrome OS, many people scoffed at the viability of a browser-based OS. Currently, however, Chromebooks are among the most popular inexpensive computing devices today. The search giant has done a great job of making an OS that is light enough to function on entry-level Atom-based SOCs and even low-powered ARM silicon. With the launch of many new Chromebooks (click hear to find out which one we think is the best chromebook) we wanted to see if a person could survive with a Chromebook playing games, videos, word processing and more for an entire week. Read on to see how the OS fared against Windows in our seven-day challenge.
Google Docs doesn’t work well without the net, so he’s taking it with him.
Microsoft spends countless millions each year on advertising, but the bizarre tone and style of the final product sometimes leaves us scratching our heads. We’ve compiled a list of 5 recent Microsoft marketing videos, and we want to know what you the reader make of them. The clips are hosted on YouTube (who graciously picks up the bandwidth bill on the Google attack ads), and believe me when we say the irony wasn’t lost on us. Hit jump to check them out.
In terms of features, Microsoft Office has Google Doc’s beaten hands down. The bad news for Microsoft however, is that the vast majority of features a typical user cares about are quickly being addressed. Of those missing features, the most common complaint we hear is lack of offline support. The option to work without an active Internet connection has come and gone from Google Doc’s over the years, but its back again for Chrome users, and hopefully its here to stay this time.
Some developers have already begun utilizing the API
Google Drive’s real-time collaboration capabilities have always been regarded as a key component of its overall appeal. Now, for the first time, some of these collaboration features are available to third-party developers for integration into their own apps.
It (literally) pays to know all the crafty ways you can save money without sacrificing your power user cred
As much as we love ogling top-of-the-line PC hardware and fantasizing about price-be-damned rigs, we also love, love, love to stretch a dollar. Does that make us cheapskates? You betcha, if that’s what you want to call someone who doesn’t pay a premium when he or she doesn’t have to. Sign us up! In fact, where computing is concerned, knowing all the various angles to save a buck—a buck that can then be put toward new and better gear, mind you—is as much a part of being a power user as knowing how to flash a BIOS or overclock RAM. If you’re currently spending top dollar on your PC activities, it’s time you got schooled in the fine art of penny-pinching. From free software alternatives, to the best deals on all forms of digital entertainment, to hardware-buying tips, to our blueprint for a $600 PC, this year’s Cheapskate’s Guide can save you thousands of dollars and make you a more savvy consumer in the process.
Note: This article appeared in the October 2012 issue of the magazine.
After being absent for over a year, offline functionality finally returned to Google Docs in September 2011. This time, though, things were slightly different as the feature was powered by HTML5 and not Google Gears, and offline access was restricted to viewing alone. On Thursday, the second day of Google’s annual I/O developer conference, Google made things much better by announcing the return of offline document editing for Chrome and Chrome OS.
“Do a barrel roll!” a virtual dogfighting rabbit screamed into a virtual dogfighting fox’s ear in Starfox 64 and BAM! 14 years later, a Google Easter egg was born. Dorky? Sure. Awesome? Yep. And that’s not even getting into the ironic fact that Peppy Hare – an old male rabbit with a grown daughter – has somehow changed genders and is now laying Easter eggs of his own. Peppy may be surprised from the sudden turn of events, but we’re not: Google has a long, storied history of dropping arcane, geektastic tidbits in the dark corners of its products. And we’re here to show them to you!
The Internet has been around for decades now, and even though we all use it every day, the simple act of sending an electronic file to a friend isn’t always so simple. We’ve grown accustomed to e-mail and instant messengers, which work well for sending small handfuls of small files to small groups of people. As soon as you start trying to send anything en masse there are a lot of roadblocks. So what exactly is the best way to send a large file, or a lot of files, or—dare we say—a lot of large files?
If we were creating our own cloud service mega-corp and had our own mobile platform, one of the first things we'd do is make a fully optimized mobile app for every one of our services. Sadly, we don't own a controlling interest in Google, but the Internet juggernaut is making an effort to integrate all of its cloud services with Android phones and tablets. This week's example is Google Docs.