I admit it - I like Microsoft Office more than I like any web-based office suite, including Google Apps. It may just be a case of not being able to teach an old dog new tricks, but I prefer to use Word to do my writing. I have even got to the point where I don't mind the infamous ribbon. (Although, I do prefer the old menu system.)However, there is now something called Google Cloud Connect, which promises to give me the best of both worlds: Microsoft Office and Google Apps. Cloud Connect synchronizes my Office documents with the CBS Interactive Google Apps system. That means that as I write this blog post in Word and save the file locally it is also automatically being synchronized and stored in the Documents section of Google Apps (Figure A) as an searchable, editable and shareable Word file.
My blog post in progress is synchronized with Google Apps
It may seem like a small thing to you, but now I can get at this blog post from any PC connected to the Internet running Microsoft Office, and edit it without having to use a Remote Desktop Connection - saves me some hassle when I work from home.
Installation and configurationThe Google Cloud Connect client is available as a free download (Figure B).
The Google Cloud Connection is a free downloadThe installation will add a toolbar to your Office applications like the one shown in Figure C.
The Google Cloud Connection toolbar in WordDuring the installation process you will have to log in using the appropriate username and password combination to create the synchronizing connection. You may also want to check the default configuration settings (Figure D) to make sure Google Cloud Connect is operating the way you want.
Check the default configuration settings
Because I have just started using the Google Cloud Connect client, I cannot give it a ringing endorsement just yet, but I am anticipating and predicting that the tool will greatly improve my productivity. I'll let you know at a later date if that prediction proves true.
Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.