Most people only use Microsoft Word. There are some occasions, however, when you might need a simple word processor to create a quick letter or make quick notes. Google has a package of services called Google Docs & Spreadsheets.
With this service, you can create documents or worksheets online without installing software on a local machine. You can then save the documents either in a private storage space on Google’s servers or on your own computer. Basic formatting tools, such as bulleted lists, fonts, and Excel-compatible formulas are included.
Most notably, several people can work on the same document or worksheet at the same time — and edits appear in real time. There is also a chat/IM feature so you can have a side conversation while working on a document. This can be very helpful if you have people in different offices who need to work on the same document (e.g. a proposal). You can also grant people read-only access so they can see a document or worksheet online.
Document formats supported are the current MS Office formats (DOC, XLS, RTF, CSV, PPT, etc.) and OpenDoc formats (ODT, ODS, etc.). Interestingly, you can also save in PDF format as well as HTML. The HTML option enables you to create Web pages via Google Docs to be viewed as standard Web pages.
Anyone can sign up for this service by registering at http://docs.google.com.