Google’s release of Documents software came as no real surprise, so as I played with it this morning I was not prepared to be impressed.
I fired up my browser and went to the Google Docs website. I was asked if I would like to import my documents from Writely.com, the original Google Docs. Not having any documents stored there, I proceeded with out importing. I started a new document and tried out the different fonts, export options, printing, etc. Nothing new really, just put on the web. Wrong. Collaboration is where it is at.
I uploaded a document that a friend and I had been working on through email and invited him to be a collaborator for the document. Within minutes we were both editing the document and keeping track of our revisions in a central area. My friend and I talked and decided that we did not want to become dependent on Google for our documents but that we would definitely use them as a repository for our documents, especially if they release an API in the near future. Then, he and I can build a tool for our local collaboration that will upload a copy to the Google Docs area and keep it there for storage.