File storage and collaboration service Box today announced that it's starting down the same road as Google (Google Docs), adding document creation to its service.
Currently in beta, the new Box Notes
feature is not a full Microsoft Word processor, but it offers basic formatting features, real-time concurrent editing, annotations, as well as social elements such as a feature called Note Heads (left) that tells you who's working in a particular part of an app.
Below you see the basic features of Box Notes:
- Real-Time Concurrent Editing: Collaborate in real-time on a Box Note with your network of collaborators.
- Collaborator Presence/Note Heads: See who's collaborating on a Box Note in real-time with a user profile picture that follows your cursor in the left hand side of the screen.
- In-Line Toolbar and Annotations: Select text to leave edits or hyperlink to other content on Box.
- Comments: Leave feedback within a note.
- Share a Box Note: Generate a link to your Box Note for sharing with other collaborators.
- Security: Box Notes is built on Box, providing data encryption, advanced account settings and global controls for managing content access.
Box Notes will also soon debut additional capabilities, including:
- Mobile: Box Notes for mobile, including integrations with Box for iOS and Android.
- Rich Media Embeds: The ability to drop in rich media such as videos, images and audio.
- Version History: Instantly revert to a previous iteration of a Box Note.
- Offline Editing: Update a Box Note and changes will be automatically synchronized the next time a user connects online.
With Box Notes, the company is trying to disrupt Microsoft Office, but mainly Mircrosoft's Office Web Apps, the free versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, which Microsoft first introduced with Office 2010. The Apps include a subset of the functionality in the full Office versions of each of the apps. Office Web Apps are usable in a variety of browsers and will soon support Android tablets via the Chrome browser.