Zoho's four new products set to rival Microsoft and Google's apps

The apps are heavily smartphone-oriented and are available on both iOS and Android

Zoho's four new products set to rival Microsoft and Google's apps

Zoho Corp, which sells internet-based software that helps businesses manage operations and customer relationships, has launched three new products, including an online word processor and a collaboration feature imbued with game concepts targeting a market dominated by Microsoft, and directly competing with Google’s Apps for Work.

Zoho has opened these apps to individual users as well, for free. They get to use them the same way they use Google Docs, for instance. The difference, the company’s founder Sridhar Vembu says, is that the free versions are ad-free too.

“Anyone who has any work to do, we want them to come to Zoho,” Vembu told reporters in Chennai at a conference to announce the launch of the new products. “It’s not fake free … it’s ad-free. Privacy is not a good price to pay for free.”

For business users, the new products and the Gamescope feature are built in such a way as to offer “end-to-end integration” spanning business operations and customer management software.
 
Users who are familiar with Google Docs will probably take to Zoho Writer with enthusiasm, as it brings a similar clutter-free approach to creating documents. Other useful features include the ability to mask portions containing sensitive information and still securely share the document.

The new products include Zoho AppCreator, Notebook and Zoho Writer while the new feature, which Zoho calls “experience”, is called Gamescope. It is being introduced in an existing product, Zoho Projects.

Zoho AppCreator helps businesses create custom mobile apps for their needs – no coding experience required, the company said in a press release on Tuesday. Notebook is a productivity-boosting, note taking app for mobile device users. Zoho Writer is the company's online word processor, first built back in 2005, and now overhauled to improve collaboration and eliminate clutter from the user interface.

Work done on these apps is automatically synced on all of the user’s devices.
 
“We are now deepening our offerings by creating innovative software in diverse spheres. Zoho’s product suite provides the ecosystem for people to accomplish any kind of work,” Vembu said.

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