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Google Office becoming a reality

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Techcrunch and Read/Write Web are both discussing the meaning and significance of “Google Apps for your domain” aka Google Office. The initial offer is a combination of mail, calendar, talk and page creation, but everybody expects the text editor Writely and possibly spreadsheets and other office elements to join them at some point
As Richard MacManus’ survey over at Read/Write Web shows, Google is not the only dog in this fight and products like Zimbra are maturing very well indeed. Also, despite the pitiful state of some of Microsoft’s current desktop offerings, they can’t be written off yet as their Office Live initiative will be a key part of the post-Vista strategy at Redmond
The big question with these remotely hosted products, though, is about security and privacy, as Om Malik points out. After the recent fuss surrounding AOL’s release of semi-anonymised search data (from Google), many people are wary of sharing their intimate corporate data with remote services
The funny thing is with Office “killers”, we find ourselves using fewer and fewer Office-type files. Most text is already in wikis, not Word files, and online spreadsheets are already gaining ground.

One Response to Google Office becoming a reality

  1. By Jason Grant on August 31, 2006 at 3:57 pm

    We are trialing the use of the Google hosted applications at our company and are finding them to work fine under most conditions so far.
    Google gave us 1000 Gmail hosted accounts and we are thinking of how to utilise Writely into the whole business setup in the most effective manner.
    Of course, Google Calendar is a great application which we have been using since it came out and with small improvements to the interface it would be as powerful and useful as Gmail.
    One fact which most people seem to be overlooking about ‘Google Office’ is that it is pretty much everything a small business would need in order to manage itself collaboratively.
    Security? The big difference between Google and Microsoft is that Google was founded upon secure approach to software development, while Microsoft was founded upon ‘usable’ approach to software development. These are miles different in practice and therefore Microsoft and Google are totally different companies and should never be mentioned as trying to be in the same category.
    I trust Google (for now) with their applications. I am a little worried about the data mining that goes on and what that information might be used for in the future, but these are pretty much matters that we can do very little about.
    Google is building a ‘remote desktop’ application which will be very difficult to compete with. Already I can deal with most business matters through Google and all for free. It is cool and very important. Microsoft will never do that. Google also has the ‘network approach’ to their business model which gives them an enormous amount of user buy-in from the BETA version onwards.
    Google will be dominating the world in 2-3 years time unlike anything we can imagine at the moment. With Eric Smidth joining the board of Apple now, Microsoft is going to be finished forever. The switch to Ray Ozzie happened about 5 years too late for them. They missed the boat!