OX Documents – A New Google Docs Alternative?
Many people are always on the look out for a Microsoft Office alternative, especially around now as the Office 2013 free trial is due to end very soon. I know I personally wouldn’t want to spend in excess of Â£100 for an office suite then there are perfectly viable, free alternatives available such as LibreOffice.
There is also theÂ argumentÂ of locally stored applications versus web apps, like Google Docs. Which is best for you depends on your needs really, but a little bit of choice never hurt anybody. So enter OX Documents – a new web based, open source based office suite.
So what, Google Docs does me fine…
Well yes, Google Docs probably does work perfectly well for most users. However, OX Documents has one big advantage over all the office suites out there, in that it is compatible with most document formats.
Now you might say that Google Docs and LibreOffice also are. But the fact is that they aren’t. Both of these tools use their own rendering engine to convert the XML code sitting behind your document to a version they can understand. Whilst that’s fine for simple things like text and images, it does cause problems when you start to introduce more advanced features like marcos. Sometime it can even cause problems with simple things like text as well though!
OX Documents doesn’t change the code, it simply opens each document in it’s native format, whether that’s a Microsoft DOCX or a LibreOffice ODT file; it doesn’t matter. OX Documents will open either without changing their XML and therefore should have 100% compatibility with either format. I’ve personally had problems when I’ve opened a DOCX file in LibreOffice and all the formatting is completely wrong – this shouldn’t happen in OX Documents.
Awesome! How do I sign up?
Well unfortunately OX Documents isn’t ready yet. But there is a sneak preview of OX Text, the word processing app in the OX Documents suite that you can play with. At the moment the plan is that OX Text will be released in early April, with the spreadsheet and presentations apps following later this year.
OX do already have an email application in place, I haven’t used it personally as I’m a Gmail user but feel free to sign up in anticipation of the OX Documents release later this year. Don’t forget to tell us what you think though!
Source – PC World