Open Xchange Launches Cloud-Based Spreadsheet Editor

Max 'Beast from the East' Smolaks covers open source, public sector, startups and technology of the future at TechWeekEurope. If you find him looking lost on the streets of London, feed him coffee and sugar.

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OX Spreadsheet is a cloud-based application available on any device and fully compatible with Microsoft Excel files

German open source software developer Open Xchange has launched OX Spreadsheet – a cloud-based spreadsheet editor fully compatible with XML files used by Microsoft Excel, among others.

The application retains original formatting and allows real-time collaboration on documents, whatever the device.

It is available as a component of the OX Documents productivity software, or as an extension of OX App Suite, a web-based personal desktop that also offers email management, calendar, document editing and displays social network feeds.

Anyone can download and deploy Open Xchange software for free. However, once it is used for business purposes, the company will ask for a modest licensing fee, while offering enterprise-grade support in return.

The alternative

Open Xchange was established back in 2005 to provide a Linux-based, open source alternative to Microsoft Exchange server software. In April 2013, the company released OX Text, the first component of the OX Documents platform, created by some of the key members of the OpenOffice development team.

ox_spreadsheet_screenshot_notebook_screen_smallOX Spreadsheet is the second component of OX Documents, which will be followed by OX Presentations – a similar application which aims to compete with Microsoft’s PowerPoint.

OX Spreadsheet allows users to edit and share documents created in Microsoft Excel without corrupting any original formatting, and support for OpenDocument Format is expected in the nearest future.

It also enables multiple users to work on the same document, with one administrator having exclusive editing rights to manage the chaos of collaboration. The simple, clean user interface is written using HTML5, JavaScript and CSS, which means it can be accessed on any device with an Internet browser.

All Open Xchange software is available as white-label products, giving Internet hosting, cloud and mobile service providers the ability to drive their own brand identity through these office tools.

“Creating formulas and editing tables have been fundamental business tasks ever since office productivity software was introduced, but for too long people have had to compromise on their ability to share documents effectively, especially across non-compatible devices,” says Rafael Laguna, CEO of Open-Xchange.

“In today’s connected world, teams are scattered around the globe and are increasingly mobile in their working habits. Users require instant and efficient collaboration. With OX Spreadsheet they can edit and share content wherever they are regardless of what device they’re using.”

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