Friday, February 22, 2008

Comment of the Day: "Google Docs is Chock Full of Fail"

In his post Why Google Apps is a Serious Threat to Microsoft Office, Bernard Lunn argued that the collaboration features in Google Apps are good enough to take on Microsoft. Commenter Karim took him on, with a well-written defense of MS Office. Also check out Bernard's response and the further debate that ensued. This kind of discussion is what we like to see on RWW, so well done Karim, you've won a $30 Amazon voucher - courtesy of our competition sponsors AdaptiveBlue and their Amazon WishList Widget. Here is Karim's full comment:

"Open a Google doc. Paste an image. Oh, that's right, you can't Ctrl-C copy, Ctrl-V PASTE an image into a document. Ok, so INSERT an image. Now proportionally resize the image so it retains its aspect ratio. Oh, that's right, you can't. Now crop the image. Oh that's right, you can't.

Now insert a table. Now grab the edge of a column and resize the column. Oh wait, you can't. Now delete one of the columns. Oh wait, you can't.

Now type some text and select it. Choose one of the fonts on your computer instead of the six fonts Google licensed from Microsoft. Oh wait, you can't. Create a new paragraph style. Oh wait, you can't. Change the font color and background on some text. Now copy that formatting to another paragraph. Oh wait, you can't.

Now do a find and replace on some text. Hmmm, why is that feature marked as "experimental?" Oh, because you don't get to choose which instances get replaced, it just replaces all of them. And there's no way to undo afterwards.

People just love to use software where some incredibly basic feature like "search & replace" is marked with "WARNING! EXPERIMENTAL! Use eye protection! This could blow up in your face!"

I'm sure Google docs works for you and your needs, but for very basic stuff, Google docs is chock full of FAIL.

You "assume" the Spreadsheet product will be "ready for prime time pretty soon," but do not tell us why you think so. Do Google products usually come flying out of beta?

You tell us it's all gonna be great when Google Gears finally kicks in and you can work without an Internet connection, then you point to a review where the guys says, yeah, they enabled "experimental" offline use, but, uh, you can't actually edit documents offline. I assume this will also be done "pretty soon?"

Then you gush about how Google Docs is a "platform" -- don't you remember Microsoft Word is too? Do you not remember macro viruses? When malware authors realize they too "can plug into Google Docs as if they owned it" then there's a chance they're gonna 0wn you.

You talk about being able to view Google Docs on your Blackberry, when mobile device support for Microsoft Word documents is already pretty commonplace.

Finally you tell us that "Google will win this battle" is because "they have the economic engine," meaning, they have advertising in all their stuff. Yay capitalism. I know the last six times I used a word processor, I kept thinking it needed more advertising.

You undermine your own argument by adding that you assume you "can always opt to pay a subscription and be ad free." LOL! Order now and get a free set of steak knives? Now how much would you pay? But wait, there's more....

The irony is you could go out right now, and get a whole Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote) for $120 at Newegg, and you can install it on three different computers. And it works great and has tons more features than Google Docs. And it has no ads. Imagine that!

$120 / 3 computers = $40 per computer. Assuming you upgrade every 3 years, that's about $1.12 per PC per month for the MS Office suite. Why would I spend THAT kind of crazy money for software I use day-in, day-out when I can bang my head "for free" against the lame "experimental" features of Google Docs?

You started off your post saying "MS Office can be annoying, but it does work." By "be annoying," I assume you mean "cost money." I mean, you'll get around to coughing up $25 for RTM someday, right?

You said "If I want to persuade with words, I use words." Next time maybe you should try different words. :-)"

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