Docs.com is a great document sharing service powered by Microsoft. It integrates the features of Microsoft Office in a more complete way than Google Docs and combines those features with some very cool services from Facebook. All of this combined makes Docs.com a very fun and interactive space to create. That being said, while this service has some serious improvements over its competitors, it's still needs some serious work to be the Google Docs killer. Docs.com allows users to share documents and access files anywhere on the go. It's a very similar idea as Google Docs, but with far more features and less formatting issues. Docs.com requires users to connect with Facebook to use their program. Facebook is built into every step of the service from avatars to messages to inviting who you want to see and edit the document,. Users can then upload any of their Microsoft Office documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc) with one easy button or create their own documents right on the site. Docs.com allows users to edit online or download their documents straight to Microsoft Office.
Why Docs Rocks
Overall Docs.com has an attractive user interface and page layout. The look and feel of the online documents are very similar to that of Microsoft Office. Many of the features that were stripped away in Google Docs are available here. Finding the right documents is much easier with improved search features, template views, and the ability to tag documents. In addition you can use any of your documents as a template which can really cut back on time. Best of all, you can kiss those annoying formatting issues goodbye.
In my opinion, the best feature of this service is how synced with Facebook it is. Docs.com requires users to connect with Facebook when using the site in order to take advantage of some many unique features.
- Through Facebook, Docs.com users can chose to invite who they want to view the document.
- Facebook messages can then be sent out to groups keeping everyone up to date on invites, editing, etc.
- Users can post their documents straight to their profile to share with their friends
- The Docs.com Facebook profile tab makes sharing, updating, and communicating directly from Facebook a breeze.
Above all, my favorite feature is a discussion board built right into each document. This amazing feature allows for conversations about the document to happen right on the same page. It's a fantastic way to stay connected and ensure that communication is never interrupted.
Who Docs.com is not yet the "Google Docs Killer"
While Docs.com is a fantastic service, there are some major downfalls that need to be addressed before it really catches on.
- Hands down the biggest problem is privacy. While the ability to share documents with selected people or leave it open for everyone to view is fantastic, Docs.com lacks an option to make a document secure so only the creator has access. Even while sharing with a selected group of people the document remains open so anybody with a URL can access it. This is a tremendous setback for those users hoping to use Docs.com for secure business purposes.
- For better or for worse, only one user is able to edit the document at a time. While this does help avoid overlap and confusion, it would be nice to see a feature allowing multiple people to edit together in real time.
- Regarding formatting and service tools, Docs.com is definitely a big improvement from Google Docs; however, I found in my use of Docs.com that it will not allow me to copy and paste data from external sources into my online documents. This is a major annoyance that seems like a simple fix.
- The ability to import and export documents makes this service very user friendly. However, if you have exported a document and wish to import it back, Docs.com requires its users to delete the original document and import the new version of the document. This tedious process also leads to a loss of the wall conversations within that document.
Overall I think this service is a terrific idea that has a lot of kinks to work out before it is complete and user friendly. I have high hopes that this service will develop into something great over time if given the proper attention by Microsoft. A few weeks ago I submitted this feedback to Docs.com and am still waiting on a response. Hopefully they implement some of these recommendations to become a great business tool down the road.
If you do venture out to try this service, Docs.com's online community is a great place to find answers to your questions. It is frequently monitored and employees respond regularly to the many questions, comments, and concerns.
If you have tried Docs.com what has been your experience? What you think of Docs.com compared to Google Docs? Do you use any other online document sharing sites?