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Google expands into business software market
poster_boy




msg:3062548
 1:23 am on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc. is making a concerted move beyond search and advertising into the business software market, starting with a set of Web programs for e-mail, scheduling and communications, it said on Sunday.

The online search leader said it has created a software platform to run basic business activities -- based on programs it already offers separately. The move marks a stepped up challenge to rival Microsoft Corp. as the software giant prepares to upgrade its Windows and Office franchises.

The free set of Web-based programs for small businesses, universities and nonprofit businesses goes by the mouthful "Google Apps for Your Domain" (http://www.google.com/a).

Full Story [news.yahoo.com]

 

codemeit




msg:3062626
 3:40 am on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

That is brilliant.

shorebreak




msg:3062659
 4:10 am on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is a classic non-announcement. All the software they're offering already exists, this is just packaging it up. I don't see what's brilliant about this at all.

-Shorebreak

blaze




msg:3062669
 4:19 am on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is huge :)

walkman




msg:3062746
 6:11 am on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

sorry, but Goog needs to stop just releasing stuff out there with barely any value. Eventually people will just ignore these announcements /"packages" as they have no value.

vincevincevince




msg:3062754
 6:29 am on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

The sad thing is that none of those packages are actually business software applications. Unless you are a very small business I can't see any serious company using them. For use by schools it seems quite a nice package... but business...?

grelmar




msg:3062784
 7:06 am on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

They're also going to add in Writely and Google spreadsheet down the road, which will make it more business friendly.

I dunno, I'm not going to give up my desktop software, (mind you, the vast majority of my productivity software is non-MS), but at the same time, I can see business owners, especially small business owners, who are sick of the maintenance, crashes, and perpetual costly update cycle of desktop software, are going to give this a good look over.

Think of it. Once the technology starts to mature, all you'll need is a computer with a browser and a fat pipe to the net for most standard office applications. Then you can leave the upgrading/maintenance of software to the G man. It's a really attractive proposition for many.

Keeping a thin client machine up and running is FAR less costly and time consuming than keeping a fully equipped desktop going. It's not just the purchase price of the software companies are looking at. It's the ever growing I.T. department they need just to keep all those individual computers going.

vite_rts




msg:3062814
 8:22 am on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

So , I hope you guys mean that you want competion amongst the big companies :-)

rehabguy




msg:3062941
 11:51 am on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't know if my business can trust a company that can't even deliver a secure logo path on their https pages...

Every time I visit a secure Google page, I get the totally amatuerish:

"This page contains both secure and nonsecure items. Do you want to display the nonsecure items?"

I had this problem worked out while Larry and Sergey were still virgins. (Assuming they aren't anymore)

I agree with walkman - google needs to stop releasing stuff that's half-baked. They're going to ruin their reputation.

_

weeks




msg:3062949
 12:04 pm on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is a cute package from G, but I don't know of anyone who would use it in a big way. I don't mean this in a harsh way, but who would care? Uncle Bob? Aunt Elli? Your neighbor? Your dry cleaner? Who? And then, why?

NYT had this deep inside their biz section, but the reporter was swinging to have it on the front page. The editors were right.

lexipixel




msg:3062951
 12:07 pm on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)


To sign up, click the button below and then sign in with a Google Account (or get a new one). We'll ask a few quick questions about your organization so we can review your request.

- from [google.com...] page

Other than making truckloads of money, I don't see Google doing much besides muddying their brand.

- Yahoo is a portal... lots of free services, message areas, email, has an ad marketing program (YPN), etc.. and sells half decent services like Yahoo! Stores, hosting, etc..

- Microsoft owns the PC desktop, a good deal of the browser market, a small percentage of search, and is default for much of the business app. market...

It seems G is reaching for a lot of ripe fruit on high branchs... they are bound to fall off the ladder.

...and they have time to "review my request"?

bostonseo




msg:3062994
 1:21 pm on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

These are just attempts to try and please Wall Street. None of these press releases have helped them at all; the Dell press releases, etc.
Give it up Google, you are what you are because people go to Google.com and type 'Hawaiin Vacation'. Stick to what you know.

gibbergibber




msg:3062997
 1:22 pm on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

--This is a classic non-announcement. All the software they're offering already exists, this is just packaging it up. I don't see what's brilliant about this at all.--

I half-agree with you, but I guess what is significant here is what you can read between the lines: by bundling several existing products into a suite under one banner, they're openly going after the same kind of customers that Microsoft does with their MS Office suite.

If you give Google's offerings a couple more years to develop, they could well offer something just as useful as the features most businesses use in MS Office (the vast majority of MS Office features in the latest releases are never used by most people).

vincevincevince




msg:3063000
 1:28 pm on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Let's face it. Get the latest version of Open Office, tie it up to something like VNC and run it on some heavy hardware. You've got 100 times what Google are offering now, and some real competition for M$.

arnarn




msg:3063097
 3:00 pm on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Has anyone thought about support?

And you thought getting comments / support from G on other "products" was difficult.

Maybe they'll call it Black Hole support and Wall Street will go GA GA and boost thier stock even more! I'd rather invest in tulips!

Just an opinion.
.

mattglet




msg:3063139
 3:22 pm on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

grelmar wins. They are setting up for the future, and rather nicely at that. Yes, they are still bucking current trends/standards as we know them, but isn't that what innovation is?

gpilling




msg:3063145
 3:26 pm on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I just asked for gmail on my own server on another thread...

For my company, this is perfect. We are small, have an IT department consisting of me, and have 10 people in 5 locations that are a few thousand miles apart. Sharing information is one of our headaches, and we dont have the IT infrastructure to build it ourselves, or the time/money to evaluate all the potential choices out there.

So I have signed up for it myself. For those of you working alone, or with everyone in the same office, this may be of no interest - but for my situation it is VERY interesting.

cerebrum




msg:3063173
 3:40 pm on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Many small businesses will opt for Google hosted solutions as they cant afford to maintain an email server. More than that, you have a Calendar, Google Pages and IM. You can expect writely, spreadsheets and GDrive in near future. This initiative by Google will help to consolidate its position is "Software As A Service" field.

Dont expect companies like HP, Dell or Bank of America will signup for this solution. There are millions of small businesses around the world looking for this solution.

rebelde




msg:3063325
 5:13 pm on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't know about the rest of you, but I am happy to let Google host my website's email for free. (Maybe I missed an earlier announcement.) Let them handle all the headaches and I can worry about more important aspects of my website.

jwolthuis




msg:3063485
 7:38 pm on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've signed-up and couldn't be happier with the services. I'm a small company of six employees, and these applications are right-sized for us.

I've just turned off the SMTP, POP3, and IIS services on my web server, and closed Outlook for good. I'll miss Outlook Notes, but I can get by with tagged Gmails to myself.

I'll let Google backup my web and mail files. Even if they don't, neither did I, so I haven't lost ground.

Sign me,

Happy and not looking back

gibbergibber




msg:3063729
 11:21 pm on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

-- Let's face it. Get the latest version of Open Office, tie it up to something like VNC and run it on some heavy hardware. You've got 100 times what Google are offering now --

Yes, but do the majority of users NEED something that's 100 times better, especially if they have to tie it to one computer rather than storing their data online?

Webmail clients are pathetic compared to PC-based clients, yet webmail is incredibly popular partly because it means people aren't tied to one computer. There are lots of features missing from webmail, but these are largely features that most people never use and don't even know exist.

Perhaps the same thing might happen with word processing and spreadsheets, that the convenience of using them online would outweigh the lack of features.

In any case, there will be more and more features added as time goes by, so even if the current feature set isn't good enough for most people, it probably will be one day.

mattglet




msg:3063752
 12:09 am on Aug 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

so even if the current feature set isn't good enough for most people, it probably will be one day

This is key. With the ease of the internet, new features can be added/edited/deleted insanely easier than putting out another CD/DVD version of the product as an update. So you're going to see the features of Google's versions added on that much quicker than Microsoft et al. This thing is going to be huge.

bill




msg:3063996
 6:21 am on Aug 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

pros:
  • Group user account management
  • free
cons:
  • Limited to 100 accounts
  • e-mail space allotted statically set at time of account setup (doesn't grow like GMail)
  • No guaranteed uptime
  • No official support channel
  • No backup
  • No offline access
  • beta
  • ad supported
  • Google's reading all my internal correspondence :o

This isn't Enterprise level quite yet. I might pay for Enterprise level support and service like this, but as it stands they have a lot of work to do on this.

TinkyWinky




msg:3064085
 8:33 am on Aug 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

For my company, this is perfect. We are small, have an IT department consisting of me, and have 10 people in 5 locations that are a few thousand miles apart. Sharing information is one of our headaches, and we dont have the IT infrastructure to build it ourselves, or the time/money to evaluate all the potential choices out there.

Gpilling - I agree with your reasons here especially as all the MS stuff costs for each licence...

However, the bigger picture is that in reality for many years now many operations like this may have had one licence and shared or even no licences and simply carried on as normal.

It is the bigger companies and new computers where I believe M$ makes it's real money on software - so until GOOG gets real and offers full on support and a whole lot more features what's new?

This is such a non-event to announce... it's just been handled well by PR to ensure it's on the front page of the news as a 'brand new product'

I doubt this will really impress the City unless a couple of large multinationals move over and ditch M$... how likely is that!

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