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Summary:

Our good buddy, Michael “disruption is my middle name” Robertson is at it again. After taking on Vonage and Skype with SIPphone and Gizmo Project, he is now going after Microsoft’s cash-cow application, Microsoft Word, using a new online word processor called ajaxWrite. As if we […]

Our good buddy, Michael “disruption is my middle name” Robertson is at it again. After taking on Vonage and Skype with SIPphone and Gizmo Project, he is now going after Microsoft’s cash-cow application, Microsoft Word, using a new online word processor called ajaxWrite. As if we don’t have enough of these ajaxy word processors! Still, in an email, Michael Robertson writes:

Remember all the ridiculous hype over the Google/Sun partnership which turned out to be a big pile of vaporware? Google will never be able to take OpenOffice and cram it into an ajax program – won’t happen. CAN’T happen. It’s like trying to turn a semi truck into a hybrid.

There is no registeration or anything of that sort. Go to the website, hit the “ajaxwrite’ button, a new window opens up, and while it looks like a cut rate wordprocessor, it gives you an interface that is remarkably familair – circa 1994. It works only with Firefox and well things Safari is just an old and tired browser. It is fast, I must say, and it can convert documents to and fram Microsoft Word format. You can also save your work as a PDF file.

I am not sure what the business model is, for there seems to be no ads or no obvious way of making money. But then that’s just how Robertson rolls, or rather rolls out his services.

  1. Michael Robertson is really one of the most bright and distruptive entrepreneurs ever. This ajaxWrite thing looks silly at first, but the application itself is much usable than its competitors. It should get better and better.

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  2. Pretty cool. I like the write-to-PDF option.

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  3. TRACKBACK: AjaxLaunch ist eine neue Plattform, die sich ein ehrgeiziges Ziel gesetzt hat: Jeden Mittwoch soll es dort eine neue webbasierte Anwendung geben, die mit Hilfe von Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) programmiert wurde. Den Anfang macht heute ein Knüller: Die kostenlose Textverarbeitung AjaxWrite.

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  4. More usable than its competitors? I just tried it and loaded a trivial single page Word document into it. It completely screwed up the formatting – all the text was centre justified (there is no centre justified text in my document), and the line spacing was totally wrong. It wasn’t like there was a lot of complex formatting in my test document to start with.

    It has to actually work for people to switch.

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  5. I’d say it’s more of a wordpad replacement.

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  6. For me, the interesting thing is ajaxLaunch, where he’s going to launch a new program like ajaxWrite every Wednesday. It will be neat to see how long they keep it up…

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  7. They must be getting hammered with traffic today. Can’t get the app to open in Firefox.

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  8. So I read Michael’s blog entry where he excitedly proclaimed how ajaxWrite is better than Word because it “opens up in seconds”. I went over to ajaxwrite.com where it says “click on the icon to open up a word compatible word processor in seconds”. I clicked on it. I counted the seconds. 1.2.3…20 seconds and then … an error page! So then I fired up MS Word – 3 seconds, no problems.

    Michael says that traditional software is no good because you “have to drive to the store” to get it. Who says? I’ve never driven to a store to buy software! It’s very easy to purchase software online, download it and install it with one-click installers.

    He says that he is exploding the traditional financial model by making software free. Hmmm … so what’s HIS financial model. Free is hardly a financial model. How does he expect to make money out of it – someone’s got to pay the programmer’s wages and the hosting costs – especially when they get bigger because he needs a bigger pipe and a faster server so that the software actually WORKS!

    Ajax, web 2.0 yawn. Who cares – all anyone wants is software that WORKS. MS Office WORKS – that’s why people pay for it!

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  9. Didn’t we see a metric ton of online office apps go under after the web 1.0 bubble burst? Why is it that some techies believe that stirring Ajax into that cold soup makes it a delicacy for customers?

    There are sensible ways to bring web-style apps to the desktop, and integrate them with existing office apps and content. I cover them on my blog, “Web 2.5: The Always-On-You Web”…

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