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News: Google Biz Apps – No More Pretension, Google Goes for MSFT's Throat

By - February 22, 2007

Let’s not pretend anymore, shall we? Google is looking to take Office out back and shoot it in the head. From the release:

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., February 22, 2007 – Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG)

today introduced Google Apps Premier Edition, a new version of

Google’s hosted services for communication and collaboration designed

for businesses of all sizes. Google Apps Premier Edition is available

for $50 per user account per year, and includes phone support,

additional storage, and a new set of administration and business

integration capabilities.

Google Apps TM, launched as a free service in August 2006, is a suite

of applications that includes Gmail TM webmail services, Google

Calendar TM shared calendaring, Google Talk TM instant messaging and

voice-over-IP, and the Start Page feature for creating a customizable

home page on a specific domain. More than 100,000 small businesses and

hundreds of universities now use the service. Google Apps Premier

Edition now joins Google Apps Standard Edition and Google Apps

Education Edition, both of which will continue to be offered for free

to organizations.

“Procter & Gamble Global Business Services (GBS) has enrolled as a

charter enterprise customer of Google Apps, a successful consumer

product suite now available to enterprises. P&G will work closely with

Google in shaping enterprise characteristics and requirements for

these popular tools,” said Laurie Heltsley, director Procter & Gamble

Global Business Services.

“So much of business now relies on people being able to communicate

and collaborate effectively,” said Gregory Simpson, CTO for General

Electric Company. “GE is interested in evaluating Google Apps for the

easy access it provides to a suite of web applications, and the way

these applications can help people work together. Given its consumer

experience, Google has a natural advantage in understanding how people

interact together over the web.”

Google also today announced that all editions of Google Apps now

include Google Docs & Spreadsheets TM. In addition, Google Apps now

supports Gmail for mobile on BlackBerry TM handheld devices.

Sounds like an Office killer to me. BTW, ZDnet tells us why they don’t think this will dent Office. I disagree. Google can and will address the issues raised here…


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11 thoughts on “News: Google Biz Apps – No More Pretension, Google Goes for MSFT's Throat

  1. Marc Orchant says:

    “office Killer” for who John? Web apps in general have barely made a dent in client-side usage and this announcement of a loosely joined set of apps by Google isn’t likely to change that anytime soon.

    There is no stampede to the cloud once you get out of the tech world. Web workers and the diferati notwithstanding, small businesses, the midmarket, and especially enterprise organizations all have legitimate concerns about putting confidential and proprietary information into the cloud. They may be window shopping but they’re not buying yet.

    I’m a proponent of the idea that we will all look back on this period of indecision and concern as quaint at some point in the future when broadband is actually ubiquitous (it’s not for most of the world) and when Rich Internet Applications bridge the online/offline divide (c’mon Adobe – ship Apollo already!).

    All that having been said, I’m pretty sure you don’t really think this release by Google is going to actually “kill” anything. I guarantee you that Microsoft is far more concerned about convincing their installed base that an upgrade from Office 2003 to Office 2007 is warranted than they are about Google Apps Premier Edition. This is an important milestone in Google’s evolution and there will be companies that will roll the dice and give this offering a try. But the numbers are not going to be “killer” for a long time to come.

  2. Google Tutor says:

    $50 per client per year? Not bad, especially if I’m running a small organization. Heck even if it grows to be big (my organization), $50 apiece is still cheaper than MS Office licenses, perhaps even with volume license agreements.

    Of course, my main concern here would be productivity. For instance, would employees be able to work as fast (and as good) as they can with local Office apps?

    Again, there are ups and down to this. For one, Web-based apps will take out the need for large storage, backup systems, etc. But then what if the network goes down? Work stops to a standstill for that duration. Then there are the privacy concerns. How will I be assured that no one from Google is taking a peek at my docs?

  3. Anjanesh Lekshminarayanan says:

    Just yesterday, I had created a spreadsheet to be shared with my friend, a non-techie who works in the BPO industry. He found it astonishingly difficult to imitate his MS Office actions on google spreadsheets. He ended copying/pasting in MS Office and uploaded it to spreadsheets. Also, the update was fast, but not immediate – no one wants to wait a second delay for each auto-update.

    If MS Office and Office Live can be integrated – something like, I edit an xls file using Office Live and my friend edits the same remote file hosted on Live, using MS Excel – then THATS A KILLER !

  4. At the Microsoft Across America Windows Vista Launch Events, the main speaker did indicate that Microsoft is very much learning from the mistakes of others before them, by not adapting to change. For Example: WANG

    Microsoft is embracing the software as service model.

    However, the bandwidh capacities of society can not fully justify this model for really complex and intensive work.

    Also security, dependability and privacy concerns still make client – server software preferable for many medium to large businesses

  5. will says:

    Has anyone considered that fact that some apps don’t suit the browser model? Somethings actually work better as desktop applications – things like Powerpoint, Word, Photoshop.

    Just because you _can_ do it with a butt load of javascript in a web browser, doesn’t mean that you should.

    Just my 2c

  6. nmw says:

    “Boy, this punch is a trip — Its o.k. in my book” (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Every_Street ;)

    “Good luck getting a nice domain name though.”

    I really *must* get to building out that e-z.name site!

    ;D nmw

  7. C S says:

    So far I think Google has been massively overhyped for the past few years. The apps are not amazing, they simply work in a basic fashion. I like Gmail although I get a ton of spam each day into its spam folder. The engines organic search results seem to be primarily filled with unethical search engine optimizers these days, and their share price or valuation is not supported. For years I have smirked at their ivy league hiring practices. News flash, not all smart people went only to Stanford or MIT. Now they are hiring 200 people a week, thats a recipe for chaos. I didn’t agree with the Youtube acquisition either. I do like having options though, so on that one point I hope google doesn’t jump the shark at some point.

  8. Tim says:

    Yes… its aimed at Microsoft…but its missing what today is Microsoft CRM… We are currently working on an open source “business application platform” (think salesforce.com). Its working for now with Google Apps but we are thiking of integrating it with OpenExchange etc… We are just doing our first beta. if you are interested let me know. Cheers.
    http://applicationexchange.com

  9. Hiroko says:

    I don’t think it’s aimed at Office power users. It’s aimed at the people who use Office because that’s all they’ve got. The people who make tables & calendars with Excel, or make basic business documents with Word, and then email them around. Office is way overkill for most people’s day to day business needs.

    If you really need Office, Google’s stuff is no threat at all. But if you just need to get work done, especially in a small business, not having to babysit an Exchange server and letting people share documents without having to email them around (or worse, walk around with thumb drives everywhere) is a big win.

  10. federica says:

    What is with all the Microsoft astroturfing? All these “random” people insisting Google apps will never be a trend is a bit too convenient.

  11. John says:

    $50/year makes that spam@.com expensive! I wish you could opt in a couple accounts, not all.