Proton Docs is the privacy-oriented answer to Google Docs and Microsoft Word

Proton dox A seems A lot Like Google Docs: white pages, formatting toolbar at the top, live indicators that show who’s in the doc linked to the cursor, the whole deal. This is not particularly surprising for two reasons. First, Google Docs is so popular that there are only so many ways to design a document editor anyway. Second, Proton Docs has all the best things about Google Docs — without Google in the mix.

Dox is Starting today Inside Proton Drive is the latest application of Proton’s privacy-focused work tools. What started as an email client now includes a calendar, file storage system, password manager, and more. Adding Docs to the ecosystem makes sense for Proton as it tries to compete with Microsoft Office and Google Workspace, and will be evident with Proton’s acquisition of Standard Notes in April. Standard Notes isn’t going away, though, Proton PR manager Will Moore tells me — Docs is borrowing some features.

The first version of Proton Docs has most of what you’d expect in a document editor: rich text options, real-time collaborative editing, and multimedia support. (If Proton can handle image embedding better than Google, it may have a win on its hands.) It’s web-only and desktop-optimized, though Moore tells me it will eventually come to other platforms. “Everything that Google has got is in our map,” he says.

Imagine Google Docs… there, that’s it. You know what proton tox looks like.
Image: Proton

Since this is a Proton product, security is everything: Every document, keystroke, even cursor movement is encrypted in real-time, the company says. Proton has long promised not to sell or use your user data, which may attract more people than ever as there are many questions about how your documents and information are used to train AI models. (For what it’s worth, Google says (It doesn’t use your content to train its models.)

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Proton is one of the companies trying to offer privacy-focused alternatives to Google and Microsoft, and neither has made a dent in those companies’ dominance. But Proton’s products have improved a lot over the past few years, and it’s getting closer to offering everything some users need to switch. (One big thing missing? Spreadsheets. Excel, good luck cutting Proton.)

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