Chapter 16. Working with Productivity Software


  • Defining productivity software

  • Assessing the benefits and drawbacks of online applications

  • Learning about office suites

  • Knowing the features of the most important cloud-based office suites

Office productivity software is one of the most important categories of applications in use today. A vast majority of desktop computers have the applications that comprise office suites installed on their systems. Word processors, spreadsheets, presentation programs, and other programs that are typically bundled together by vendors such as Apple, Microsoft, Corel, IBM Lotus, Oracle/Sun, and others in their office suites are the most heavily used applications, with the exception perhaps of your system's browser.

It is no accident, therefore, that cloud software developers have targeted productivity software as the one area where cloud computing can have impact. The cloud offers a variety of benefits that make productivity software accessed over this medium attractive. Those benefits include lower software costs, ubiquitous and nearly universal access, ease of sharing and collaboration, and a standards-based approach that enables cross-platform capabilities.

These benefits must be weighed against the risks of requiring an Internet connection, storing sensitive data in the cloud, and the generally smaller feature sets that online productivity applications have than their desktop counterparts.

In this chapter, you learn about some of the major ...

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