A word processor built for the web. This is free to use, but still very much a commercial endeavor by Google. You need to have a google account to use it, and even though the standard free version is very capable, they do offer paid licenses to unlock certain extra functionality.
It’s a word processor that lives on the web, simply head over to docs.google.com, and you’re ready to start typing. Files can be saved offline, or you can store them in the free cloud storage provided by Google. It officially supports Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge, and Safari web browsers.
It’s got full support for loading and saving in Microsoft file formats, as well as importing and exporting as PDFs. They’ve also started using machine learning more in how this word processor operates and will suggest words or even entire parts of sentences when you’re in the middle of typing. It’s perhaps a troubling precedent, I don’t know if I am fully onboard with a word processor that knows what I’m thinking, but when it works well it does indeed save time.
Despite being web-based, Google Docs also supports offline editing of files. You won’t have access to all features when offline, and you will have to take extra care with how it handles synchronizing multiple versions, but it’s very hard to lose work produced in Google Docs. It’s saving every edit you make or letter you type, and saving it in the cloud. If your device gets destroyed, or your operating system crashes, your documents will be safe as you left them.
Performance is fine on even most modest systems, although running a word processor in a browser can be more system resource-intensive than running it locally, so that’s one factor to consider for low-end machines.
Google Docs is perhaps not ideal if you do intend to do mostly offline word processing, but if you’re going to be connected, it’s a solid option.
Access Google Docs from any supported web browser here.