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No company has produced a Web-based office application that works flawlessly. But FlySuite, a Java-based word processor and spreadsheet combination, is so far from perfect that even some neat collaboration tricks don't make it worth recommending.
FlySuite makes its pitch as a good way to work with far-flung partners. You can e-mail files from within the applications to your recipients, who don't need a copy of FlySuite--when they open the attachments, the FlySuite application also opens automatically. You can limit the ability of recipients to edit, save, or print your files. You can also make files inaccessible after a certain date. The suite's $39 price also includes one year's use of 1GB of online storage.
I found significant glitches, though. During a few attempts to open a document I'd e-mailed to myself, the application kept opening a blank document instead. I'd close the blank document and another would open, ad infinitum, until I closed the application entirely. (After I mentioned the problem, the company said it was releasing a fix.) Another document, which I e-mailed to myself and then e-mailed back to the original computer, came through the process mangled with lots of inserted hieroglyphics.
Basic features were no better. FlyWord had significant problems opening Microsoft Word documents. Documents with revisions would show up as a nonsensical mess with both the revisions and the original text displayed together without any distinguishing formatting. FlyWord also had trouble with anything beyond simple formatting: Page headers would show up at the bottom of a previous page, and images would repeat over and over.
The basic FlySuite spreadsheet program was also frustrating. You can't copy a formula from one cell to multiple other cells using cut and paste functions. (There is a way to perform the function, but it's not documented in FlySuite's help.) There's also no way to chart your data, though the company said that functionality would be added in an update.
Unless you really need some of FlySuite's attachment protections, you're better off using other online office apps like the free ThinkFree Office.
The word processor and spreadsheet have some interesting collaboration features, but basic performance is inadequate.
Street: $39 (includes 1GB of online storage for one year)
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