Don't despair, Google Notebook users: Import to Zoho

When Google announced it has stopped active development on Notebook, the tool for saving ideas and web pages, there were cries of dismay from a corner of the web. A small corner, but still — users created an online petition to save Notebook (as pointed out by Mashable), which has 881 total signatures. Notebook isn’t officially disappearing, at least not yet, and Google already offers ways to export your information into Google Docs or HTML files. But online office software maker Zoho wants to make it easier still to transfer information directly from Google to Zoho Notebook.

In his blog post announcing the feature, Zoho product evangelist Raju Vegesna says users can import from Google to Zoho in less than five minutes. Just install the Zoho Notebook Firefox plug-in, login to both accounts, follow the link, and everything transfers over. Not being a Notebook user on either the Google or Zoho side, I haven’t tried this out myself, but it certainly sounds like it would make the switch to Zoho pretty compelling, even compared to “brain-aiding software” Evernote, which Lifehacker recommended as a replacement.

The news also reminds me of a post last year by Zoho chief executive Sridhar Vembu, where he argued that business software is much less profitable than Google’s core web products, and said that’s how Zoho will be able to compete.

“When push comes to shove — and there is a lot of very messy push and shove in the business software market –  Google’s resources are going to flow into figuring out how to monetize the humongous traffic of YouTube or compete in online auctions, rather than figure out a way to squeeze a bit more margin compared to Oracle or Adobe or Salesforce,” Vembu wrote.

Notebook is certainly a more marginal product than Google’s business offerings like Docs and Apps, and I would be very surprised to see either of those products affected by cuts. Still, with Google refocusing on its core products, and Zoho Notebook still up and running, I can’t help but think that Vembu was at least a little bit right.

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