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AdventNet Zoho review

Simon Handby
25 Feb 2009
Our Rating 

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Specifications

Zoho's front page proudly displays the most extensive set of online applications of the three services we looked at here.

There are 10 free applications covering the office basics and other features such as mail and document management. A further nine add more advanced business-oriented features. These include a relational SQL database, which is free for up to five users but supports HTTP-based web APIs rather than forms.

AdventNet doesn't list Zoho's system requirements, but Writer worked with Internet Explorer on our test PC and with Safari and Opera on Mac OS X. It also worked with Firefox under Windows, Ubuntu and Mac OS X.

Zoho's applications look more complicated and less modern than their Google and ThinkFree rivals, and the service's front page doesn't automatically present logged-in users with their document manager. Each application's document list displays only the files it can open, rather than those supported by all applications in the suite.

We found the menu layout and terminology inconsistent between Zoho's applications, and some seemed more sophisticated than others. Writer lacks elementary features such as a word count, for example, while Sheet supports macros and has some of the most straightforward chart features here. Plus, you can quickly publish the results online.

The range of Zoho's applications is impressive, but together they feel less cohesive than their online rivals. A few simple usability tweaks, such as making the Docs document manager the home page for logged-in users, would improve Zoho's appeal.

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