One of the very useful features of Google Docs is the ability to effortlessly share files and collaborate in real-time. In my tests, I feel that Google Docs offers the best functionality for sharing. Microsoft Skydrive has only limited sharing abilities and Zoho Office only has the ability to share with other Zoho users. Google Docs offers sharing and collaboration with both registered and unregistered users which is a plus. With Google Docs you have three sharing options available 1) Public, 2) Anyone with Link, and 3) Private.
The “Anyone with Link” option is provides the user with a the link that can be sent out to all other collaborators regardless of whether or not they are registered or not. Under this configuration, each user has a different color scheme is labeled with a name like “anonymous9001”. To setup the “Anyone with link” option, a file must be created and then the “File>Share” menu option must be chosen. Under the “Who has Access” box, the top line allows you to change the classification. After you have changed the status, a URL link appears at the top. This link is what you will send to everyone that you wish to collaborate with.
The “Private” option requires a google account and then lists the people’s names that are editing. The only difference between the “Private” and the “Anyone With Link” option is the naming convention for the collaboration colors. Instead of showing up as “anonymous_xxx”, the user will show up as their Google account name. The “Public” Option allows anyone to view the document, but does not allow anyone to edit it.
Overall, I feel that Google offers a great collaboration product. Its sharing features offer superior flexibility for those wishing to collaborate.