Zoho Offering Could Challenge Google Apps

    September 7, 2007

It’s only in private beta at the moment, but some day, Zoho Apps may try to stand up to Google itself.  Google Apps, anyway, and like that bundle, Zoho Apps will offer a number of “productivity applications and services.”

Also like Google’s offering, a lesser version of Zoho Apps will be absolutely free.  A “Pro” version will cost $40 per user per year, according to Read/WriteWeb’s Richard MacManus, who notes that this will make it $10 cheaper per user than Google’s Premier Edition.

Will it be as popular?  A sort of “temperature check” may be obtained by dropping in on the Zoho Online Office for Facebook; I’m rather underwhelmed by the 79 “daily active users,” but there’s been a fairly steady stream of comments over the past few months.  Then again, the attitude embodied by those comments isn’t overly positive.

Flip your coin, then, especially since the average Facebook user probably isn’t in Zoho Business’s target demographic.

As for when people will actually be able to get their hands on Zoho Business, MacManus reports that it should go into public beta in October, and then “go 1.0 during Q1 2008.”  A bit more information is available thanks to Raju Vegesna and the official Zoho Blog, and if you’re extra interested, there’s also a video featuring some screenshots.