A while back I submitted my name to recieve a USB drive from ThinkFree and IT|Redux as a promotion to get bloggers to review ThinkFree Office. I recently received the U3 drive loaded with ThinkFree Portable. Overall I liked that ThinkFree looks and acts just like Micro$oft Office, but it lacks one major feature that is a deal-breaker for me: ability to open and save to the OpenDocument formats.
ThinkFree Office looks and acts just like Micro$oft Office, except it looks like it is being run on Windows 95 (see the screenshots at the bottom). I think this is done for a reason (because it runs on Java), but the look does detract from application.
Using ThinkFree I was able to open and edit Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations without any problem.
Something ThinkFree needs is support for the OpenDocument formats (.odt, .ods, and .odp). Many companies and individuals are trying to get away from vendor lock-in, so they will always have the ability to open their documents, no matter if Micro$oft still supports its old formats.
Myself, I have been using OpenOffice.org this entire school year and I’ve been saving all of my papers in the .odt format. ThinkFree cannot open these files, which has been a major pain for me testing this out. Google Docs and Spreadsheets supports the OpenDocument formats (see here), which makes Google Docs a ThinkFree killer.
Also, ThinkFree Online does not support the OpenDocument formats.
Overall, I really liked ThinkFree Office. I especially like the ease-of-use, since all of the menus and dialog windows were just like the ones in Micro$oft Office. But ThinkFree Office (both the Portable and Online versions) does not support open formats, and that is a deal breaker for me, as I would always like to have the ability to open my documents, no matter how old the documents’ format.
Here’s some shots of the ThinkFree Office 3 Portable (click to expand the thumbnails):
Disclaimer: ThinkFree and IT|Redux sent me a U3 USB drive with ThinkFree Portable and a license to write this review.
*Update – 9pm, May 21* A member of the ThinkFree team has sent me this statement regarding ODF support: “As for ODF support – ThinkFree Online will support ODF within the next few months or so. This will make its way into the rest of the product lines in the second half of the year.”