Google and Writely: The match made in hell for Microsoft? That’s what you would think with some of the reaction today after news emerged that Google bought the Web-based word processor developer. Consider:
Google lays foundations for Office rival – ZDNet UK
Is Writely the end of Word? – Apple Matters
Writely + Google = Death to MS Office? – TechRepublic Blog
Writely’s beta is closed to new users so it’s hard to make a direct comparison, but from what I can tell it doesn’t seem like Microsoft has too much to worry about just yet. Writely seems to do some nice things with allowing online user collaboration (see its demo here), but Stephen Manes took the program for a spin for Forbes and came up with some pretty significant drawbacks. You have to rely on the browser to print (and browser printing can leave much to be desired), Manes said, and you can’t work on Writely offline.