How Google Docs differs from a conventional Office Suite

Google Docs has all the benefits inherent in a SaaS solution, namely that no installation is required on the client, updates are periodic and automatic, and all data is stored in the cloud. There is also a possibility of sharing and collaboration, which provides significant productivity improvements when compared to a more conventional office solution.

Google Docs benefits from its integration with other Google Apps, the most important of which is Gmail, which allows using Google Docs for viewing attachments. Google's solution for creating websites, named Google Sites, also benefits from its integration with Google Docs, allowing inserting documents and spreadsheets in web pages.
For the time being, the features and the level of user-friendliness proposed by Google Docs do not yet meet the standards of a conventional suite like Microsoft's Office or Apple's iWorks. Current HTML technology does not yet provide drag and drop within a web page. For this reason, Google Docs is best suited in situations where the benefit of collaboration outweighs the need for a sophisticated layout or the need for advanced UI capabilities.
However, a number of solutions in the Google Apps ecosystem try to compensate for some of these deficiencies, including products such as OffiSync, Memeo Connect, Syncplicity, and Docverse. The above mentioned are either applications developed by Google (Docverse) or Apps that are available on the Marketplace.

Thus, Google Docs could be used, for instance, during the first phase of writing a document while collaborative work is particularly important. Once the text has been agreed upon by the collaborators, the document can be exported to one of the usual formats to be edited by a more conventional tool, to adjust its layout precisely and include sophisticated graphics.

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