2006-08-29

Free Business Apps from Google

In case you didn't hear it yet, Google yesterday formally announced that it is offering a free trial of the Beta of its new enterprise business application. This includes everything you see at www.google.com/a

So now you can have an enterprise version of:
* Google Mail
* Google Calendar
* Google Page Creator
* Google Talk

While I'm a user of Google Calendar for my personal calendar and have enjoyed using it with the ability of sharing my calendar with others (makes scheduling appointments much easier), I'm not sure of the others.

Do I really want to shift my business e-mail from its current provider to Google? Yes Google will be free, but who do I call when something goes wrong?

While free today and Google does promise that it will be free forever to all beta users, what happens when the new and improved version of everything becomes available and is sold as a premium service? Is this is just a fancy take on the bait and switch?

Just more offerings from Google, now add these to other offerings by Google: Writely (www.writely.com a free word processor) and Google Spreadsheet (spreadsheets.google.com) and you have a company which is ready to take on the entrenched Microsoft Office. Perhaps these products aren't ready for major corporations, but they do and will make sense to all the small and medium sized businesses out there.

It's strange that about 6 or 7 years ago or so, I had predicted at a conference that Internet and web would allow software companies to move their applications on-line. This had a few advantages, from the users perspective, they didn't have to keep buying upgrades and could always be on the latest version and it should cost less per user. From the software manufacture perspective, they can say good-bye to pirated versions of the software since there are no CDs out there to be burned and license keys to be hacked.

Well let's wait and see how all this plays out. It could become very interesting.

2 comments:

cliff said...

Hi, I am Cliff from EditGrid. Besides Google spreadsheets, there are various online spreadsheets working in different directions, includes EditGrid and Numbler which you may wish to try. EditGrid can get live stockquote and forex. Here is a demo.

Of course we wouldn't forget our fundamentals, the spreadsheet functions, drag and fill, advance number formatting, undo/redo... all are available. Here is a comparison between EditGrid and Google Spreadsheets.

Alan K'necht said...

Thanks for the feedback. My post was not intended to slight other products, just to point out how Google is postioning itself as an alternative to MS Office.

I'll be sure to take a look at EditGrid.