Mobility

DataViz and the future of Office on mobile devices

If you are a BlackBerry user, chances are that you are looking forward to the release of Documents To Go for the BlackBerry. Today, I summarize what is already known about the Office To Go software suite from various sources, as well as try to glean more clues before its impending release.

If you are a BlackBerry user, chances are that you are looking forward to the release of Documents To Go for the BlackBerry. Today, I summarize what is already known about the Office To Go software suite from various sources, as well as try to glean more clues before its impending release.

RIM's BlackBerry

A free edition of Documents To Go will be bundled with the Blackberry and will include the ability to download, view, and edit the usual trio of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files directly on the smartphone. This support is contingent upon the release of BlackBerry device software v4.5 for Word and PowerPoint file access, however. This makes sense since current BlackBerry OS versions do not support the download of the original attachment binaries.

Spokeswoman Jenn Figueroa was able to confirm that Documents To Go for the BlackBerry will be able to read and save files directly to and from the media card, if available. Also, Office 2007 file formats will be supported out of the box though support for Excel will be delayed and come only after an update that is scheduled "shortly after" the main release. DataViz declined to elaborate on the reason behind this delay.

Anyway, administrators will be pleased to know that Documents To Go for the BlackBerry will support general BES policies with some specifically related to the software. A general policy could be defined limiting the size of the document, for example.

No pricing details of the upgrade to the full version of Documents To Go are available at this stage, however. You can see the screenshots of Documents To Go for the BlackBerry here.

Apple's iPhone

On this front, DataViz is actively investigating the possibility of an iPhone version of Documents To Go. In a blog entry, CEO Dick Fontana notes that:

"We were one of the first developers for the Macintosh in 1984 and they [Apple] have always proven to be good business partners... We have every reason to believe that the path will be open for us."

With the iPhone SDK released just last week, however, it is probably too early to expect any kind of commitment to a release date.

Google's Android

DataViz declined to comment when asked about Google's Android, which will see some manufacturers releasing devices based on it as early as this year. Personally, I cannot imagine DataViz staying completely away from Android, though it will probably be heavily related to the popularity of Android, when all is said and done.

The future

Overall, DataViz is optimistic about the future and the quality of its products on the various platforms.

Jenn Figueroa noted that, "DataViz has invested heavily over the years in making their technology relatively portable...The focus of DataViz is to provide the best mobile office experience on any mobile device. Its key business objective is to maintain its current leadership position."

If DataViz is to be believed, whatever mobile platform that you settle for, Documents To Go will be there waiting.

Edit: Jenn Figueroa has written to clarify that the initial release of Documents To Go will not support Office 2007 file formats. Support for them will be released shortly after.

About Paul Mah

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

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