Recently I came across Zoho. I have been a big fan of Google Docs for some time. Well not the documents exactly since they lose a lot of formatting from richer applications. But the spreadsheet program has been very useful. But for several reasons I want to move some of my computing away from Google. I can use the OpenOffice stuff in Linux, but frankly part of the appeal of moving to Linux was freeing my personal computing from the local machine. With online docs I can more or less treat a machine as a dumb terminal. Still not entirely true since my music resides locally, but closer.So Zoho.The first thing I did was build a new spreadsheet. My family is tackling another round of a weight loss and I want to track this online so each person can enter his or her own information. Simple spreadsheet. The Google version works fine. I copied and pasted that text into Zoho. The first issue I found was that the formulas don’t paste. Fair enough, when I pasted from Excel into Google Docs the formulas didn’t come over either.The second issue was charts. For a variety of reasons we have blanks in our data. Google’s chart deals with this nicely, assuming an average. Zoho treats those values as zeros. Not as pretty. To be fair I imagine that there are other graphs I where I would want empty values to be treated as zeros. So the final verdict is I can and have switched over.Then this morning I came across Zoho Creator (via Lifehacker). Wow, what a slick application. I cannot say I built anything complex, but I did build some simple forms with simple formulas. Nice. And way ahead of anything Google is offering. Or anyone else I can find for that matter.Now the real question: how long until someone buys these guys? Seems like a very natural fit for Microsoft or Yahoo. Zoho has plugins for Office formats already. Update26 June: Zoho’s spreadsheet application allows for publication of charts. Here is the current chart with my family’s weight loss bet. The chart is fine with one problem: where the data falls off they shouldn’t assume this is a zero which is why the line falls off the cliff like that. The line should simply stop as it does in Excel or Google Spreadsheets. But I like the feature of publishing just the graph and not the entire sheet.