While checking out new products at DemoFall 2006, I chatted with TJ Kang, CEO of ThinkFree, a competitor to Zoho, Google and others trying to take on the dominant Microsoft Office franchise. He was showing off the AJAX edition his company's browser-based office suite. ThinkFree also has a desktop version of its suite, and Kang sees value in both, in seamlessly linking between the Webtop and desktop editions. This is similar to Microsoft's hybrid approach, with Windows desktop and Web applications tightly bound. Most recently, stories have popped up about Microsoft turning Works into a low-end Web office suite.The issues, such as browser memory restrictions, limit what Web applications can do. Kang said that he will offer a premium edition of ThinkFree for $8 per month that includes an offline mode, running applications outside of the browser and synchronizing versions, as well as other features. Browser limitations aren't going away anytime soon, which will make the hybrid suites useful to the class of users who need more than a Webtop.
ThinkFree includes simple collaboration capabilities that are core to Web applications