Office Mobile for a Smartphone?

Reader Meg asks: I am thinking of buying a HTC Dash but would like to be able to edit word & excel docs on the road. Is there a free software you would recommend? Even one I have to pay for?

Although there are Word and Excel viewers for Windows Mobile Smartphones and one third party spreadsheet for Smartphones…
Westtek ClearVue Office

Repligo for Microsoft Smartphone

Z4Soft PTab

…I don’t know of any actual Office Mobile alternative for the Smartphone that provides editing features. The real question here is whether or not a Smartphone is the appropriate tool for your requirements.

If editing Word and Excel documents on the road is a key requirement, you should really looking at a Pocket PC Phone Edition instead of a Smartphone. T-Mobile has a single PPCPE available: The T-Mobile MDA.

There is one other alternative. However, it requires buying two or three separate devices. You could purchase a T-Mobile Dash Smartphone and a Pocket PC with integrated thumb keyboard or a Pocket PC and a Bluetooth keyboard. This combination would allow you the convenience of a Smartphone with the application richness of a Pocket PC.

Finally, be aware that Office Mobile components are subsets of the full Microsoft Office components. You will not be able to do everything you can do on the desktop. And, formatting can be lost in a roundtrip from your desktop to the Windows Mobile device and then back to the desktop.