8th Jan 2009 | 15:50
The cloud based office that you can download and use offline
Thinkfree is an unusual hybrid. It's an online suite, but it's Java-based.
Log in and you can run the applet in a window or download a copy to your PC for future convenience.
This means that there's an initial wait when you first open a document, but future loads are pretty quick.
The result is a web-based editor that looks much like Office 2003, right down to the blue hue.
Documents are split into four categories: word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and notes – the latter in beta, and still in need of work, the others working reasonably well.
Because it's a downloadable application, Thinkfree has the ability to be much more familiar than the web alternatives that try to bend HTML into a usable form, and its online service means that it still has all the benefits of a cloud-based suite.
The online service kicks in for background functions, such as syncing files between devices, creating projects and emailing people working on a particular document when any changes are made.