Writely is a web word processor. It is built on Ajax-rich technology. It was recently acquired by Google in March.
Writely had closed down new registrations in March but it is now open. So, the question in the forum is whether or not Writely could actually replace MS-Word?
Well, if you want to write a word document, you gotta (typically) have MS-Word. You need Windows or Mac operating system to go with it. Just these two pieces of software is in the range of hundreds of dollars. Plus, MS-Word is platform dependent and could be a pain some times to install and uninstall on different machines if you happen to not have your own laptop.
A website like Writely which does everything MS-Word does is web based and platform independent (duh). It works on any computer as long as they have newer browsers which could decipher Ajax code. An internet connection is a must.
What kind of smart dud would pay hundreds of dollars for a piece of software when the same is available online? Web based word processors are not popular yet but there will be a day when websites like Writely will replace the typical software that are being used on a daily basis.
But as the thought of Web based software replacing the typical ones comes to my mind, I see a small problem. With software like MS-Word and Excel, I am not dependent on elements like internet or website for using these software but, with web based processors, I am forced to depend on the website and mainly the internet. It would be interesting to see how this Web vs Desktop S/W war progresses.