After the rollout of the genius Google Doc real-time editing platform that made office spreadsheets, editing, and um, planning trips to London a breeze, the behemoth company has come up with yet another way to make our lives easier. If you've got your head in the Cloud, you can now save Gmail attachments straight to your Drive accounts — no downloading necessary. Meanwhile, Microsoft is just trying to keep up: Although Office Web Apps, similar to Google Docs, have apparently existed for a while, they've just now added a similar real-time editing function. Keep tryin', little guy!
In the new Gmail feature, all a user has to do is click on the Drive button that appears when they hover over an attachment preview. So simple, even Microsoft could do it.
Oh, except the Bill Gates-founded company isn't quite there yet: On Nov. 7, a little more than two years after Google, they announced plans to integrate real-time editing into their bare-bones Office Suite Web App. Apparently, they'd finally taken a look at those feature-filled, co-authoring Google Docs — which, let's remember, basically mimics Microsoft's own products — and realized people really liked it.
"When customers evaluate Google Apps, one feature they find compelling is the real-time co-authoring in Docs," Gartner analyst Michael Silver said.
Microsoft Web Apps have also finished adding auto-save to its online Word platform; it's already been added to Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. "We're putting a lot of effort on Office Web Apps," said John Case, Microsoft's corporate vice president for Office marketing.
Microsoft's move comes after Apple's Oct. 22 announcement they'd made their iWork suite bundled with Apple computers, and all available in the great iCloud up in the sky. Pages, Numbers and Keynote are now all collaboration- and Cloud-friendly on iOS devices.
"Collaborative document editing is a very useful feature for any productivity application, and one that will become increasingly popular as teams become more distributed," said Osterman Research industry analyst Michael Osterman about Microsoft's new addition — a thought echoed by every G-Doc user ever for the past four years.
However, though Microsoft has made gains in making their product play nice with the iPad, Google will still likely win in its ubiquity: If you're sans Apple or Microsoft Office Suite, it's still easy to collaborate with people who use different platforms and software apps. And now you're able to save your attached docs right onto Drive, it makes it a lot easier to open them straight up for some real-time action. Besides, the NSA might love a little more light reading, too.