Why cloud-based office applications are the future

If you’ve not used Google Docs, I’d recommend taking a look. It’s basically a set of “office” applications (word processor, spreadsheet etc) but with the software all online, so you don’t need to have any programs on your computer. For the first time ever, I didn’t buy Microsoft Office with a recent PC purchase, because I can do everything using Google Docs, thanks. It does require a permanent internet connection, but that’s not a problem, I wasn’t planning to go on the road with this PC. Also, the documents are stored at Google (your PC really is just a window onto another computer), which I vastly prefer to having them stored locally.

There are no more software upgrades because Google has the application and therefore takes care of that, and – slowly – it’s not only catching up with conventional Microsoft Office, but is surpassing it. A recent introduction, for example, was automatic document translation, which is wonderfully convenient. Machine translation is far from perfect, but I often find if I’ve asked a client or colleague to translate something, and they get a machine translation to accompany the English one, it rather focuses their mind on the task, for fear that if they don’t do it, the machine translation will be used. And for translating foreign language documents into English, if you’re doing research, it’s an awesome tool.

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