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Microsoft Word is Desktop Software. Supposedly. Then Why Does it Fail to Load Offline?

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Dave Michels’ recent post, I thought I Was So Cloud resonated well with me, since I’m experiencing the same pain regularly, even without the dramatic experience of a cashed harddisk.   I’m now using 4 computers, not counting the iPad, and like Dave, "I am so Cloud", so moving between them should be seamless. It almost is. My data is always there and always up-to-date. But if I turn on a laptop I have not touched for a while, there is a painful process of Windows updates, Firefox updates, FFox plugin updates, Adobe or Java updates – just to name a few. Sometimes the popup windows from these suckers interfere with each other, the crazier ones want to reboot while others still install … yes, we still have too much stuff on the local computers. :-(

Little did I know my saga would continue this afternoon. Since I planned to spend some time in a medical office, with no wi-fi (Why is it that the smallest little dirthole garage, tire shop you-name-it services privide free wi-fi, but medical offices where you likely spend 10x as much don’t?  Oh, well…) I synced up a few Word documents to my thin little  Vostro 13, and was ready to stay productive offline.

If only the Gods in Redmond had agreed… Booting up in the waiting room.  Installing 4xxx 5xxx finally 6237 of 6237 updates.   WTF?  Even I’m not dumb enough to believe it actually installed 6k updates, but that’s what the display said. Oh, well, finally Windows boots… then spends a few minutes configuring updates. Done.  So now we can work.   Click the file, see Word load, then wait. Wait. Wait.

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Something’s not right.  I have the free Office 2010 beta version which downloads components on initial load, but this is taking forever. Oh, no:

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Abort.  Internet connection lost, Word cannot be opened.  Oops.  No, the connection has never been lost, there’s none at this place, which is why I keep Office and local documents on this laptop in the first place.  I understand it wants to update, but it should be able to start without anyway.  MS Office is a desktop, “offline” package, after all.

If I can’t use it without being online, I just lost the very reason to use it at all.

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve)

 

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Google Gears goes Mobile – Zoho First to Take Advantage

Mobility is supposed to be about 24/7 connectivity, isn’t it?  I’m writing this on a a 7.2Mbps HSDPA mobile connection while visiting my parents in Hungary.   HSDPA is like 3G on steroids, and we’re not even close to universal 3G coverage in the US.  What’s more, forget data, I’d be happy with just universal voice coverage right here in the heart of Technology.  I get measly coverage (half a bar only right next to the window) in my house, but what’s a real shame, try talking on a T-mobile phone on the long walkway from Parking to the International Terminal at SFO: zero, nada, no signal at all.

Until that’s fixed, mobility isn’t about 24/7 connectivity, it’s about 24/7 access, online or offline.  Which is why it’s great to see Google Gears Mobile released today, initially for Internet Explorer Mobile on Windows Mobile 5 and 6.  Now you don’t lose vital information when your phone goes offline. 

The first two apps taking advantage of Gears Mobile are Buxfer a finance tracking application and Zoho Writer.

 

The current Zoho Mobile Offline version (wow, that’s a mouthfulsmile_tongue) is view only – if you recall, it did not take long for Zoho to add edit capabilities to the Gears-based offline version on the desktop, so we can likely expect the same here, too.

This video presents Zoho Writer Offline in use.   As a reminder, Zoho also works on the iPhone, at at izoho.com – offline support will come just as soon as Google Gears will support it.

 

Related posts: Google Mobile Blog, TechCrunchTechMoz, VentureBeat, Mashable, The Buxfer Post, Zoho Blogs.