Yet Another Microsoft Killer Debuts

    March 23, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

AjaxWrite offers a functional word processor compatible with Microsoft Word documents, and even exports documents into PDF.

Another nifty Web 2.0 project has emerged on the web at ajaxWrite. It looks and works similar to Word, all within a Firefox browser (no IE or Opera or Safari support yet). We have to note here that Firefox’s commendable share of the browser market hovers around 10 percent globally.

Some observers have found ajaxWrite great cause for excitement. Witness Mike Arrington’s breathless quote at TechCrunch: “Will things like AjaxWrite have an impact on Microsoft’s Office revenues over time? Yeah, it must.”

“The Microsoft Office empire might soon get challenged by the Web-based disruptors,” USA Today blogger Kevin Maney posted.

Maybe we should politely file founder Michael Robertson’s latest effort under “nice, but lacking.”

Lacking how? Alec Saunders has the opinion that ajaxWrite compares to another Microsoft text editing tool, WordPad:

The devil’s in the details. ajaxWrite is more comparable to Wordpad, the free “word processor” that has shipped with every copy of Microsoft Windows since Windows 95, rather than a real word processor. 95% of it’s features are the same as Wordpad. Differences are minor – Wordpad can’t save a PDF file, but ajaxWrite can. ajaxWrite has a nifty highlighter feature, which Wordpad lacks, as well. But ajaxWrite can’t search a document, do a print preview, or show rulers on screen, all of which Wordpad can do.

Perhaps the best observation about ajaxWrite comes from Robertson himself, as cited by a commenter on Kederosky’s blog: “The impact of this shift in how software is delivered to users cannot be understated.”

In his Medina estate, Bill Gates may be reading that statement and saying, “True dat, dawg.” Or words to that effect.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.