Five Reasons You’ll Use Google Office (and 5 Reasons You Won’t)

Posted on August 28, 2006. Filed under: Google, Microsoft, Online Applications, Windows XP |

Google launched today a hosted software package of productivity tools that places it closer into competition with Microsoft’s Live products.

Google Apps for Your Domain is a software bundle aimed at small and midsize businesses. The free package combines Google’s e-mail, calendar, IM and page creation software. The package creates a private label suite all hosted by Google. Aaron Ricadela at InformationWeek has a good in-depth story (although he doesn’t even mention MS Live and focuses on Office instead).

But read my lips: Google Apps for Your Domain (GAYD?) does not compete with Microsoft Office. Microsoft’s Office market may be $12 billion, but the lion’s share of those billions comes from a relatively small number of large companies. Writely can’t compete with Word, Spreadsheets can’t compete with Excel. They cater to the soccer mom, not the corporate worker. Right now, you need both to do your job. It’s not a zero sum game.

What Google gains from these apps is knowledge about how you use office software and what kind of information you’re sending back and forth. This data goes into its advertising efforts so it can target you better. Everything is in the service of advertising. Google is also firing a shot across the bow of Microsoft Live, which targets the same functionality.

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