Monday, August 28, 2006

Google for Business..Good Fit?

Reuters Article: Google expands into business software market

Google Inc. is expanding into the business software market. They are doing this through an offering of web based programs. These apps include e-mail, scheduling, and web publishing tools.

Other big corps, such as IBM, Oracle, and SAP, are also moving to make similar offerings. But what is the real cost? Google is offering these applications free to small businesses, universities, and other nonprofits. Their advancded version however will cost.

But initial software investment aside, is there a hidden cost? Are there some potential downsides?

I see a few potential issues:
1) Lack of control over virus/worm tools for email, scheduling and instant messaging tools. How much of a guarantee will or does Google make for the safety of tools provided entirely online? Microsoft is already swimming upstream with software that runs scripting software from the net and connects behind the scenes to the internet.

2) What about storage costs? Is Google going to offer unlimited or very cheap storage of documents, email and calendars? What about the logs Google may or may not keep regarding instant messenger transcripts.

3) Then what about lag and inaccessability. An application that exists only online is useless if you are suddenly without internet access. Will Google begin offering offline versions via Java/Ajax/Javascript applications at some extra cost?

The same could be said of those other big vendors making similar offerings. And for a final thought, is this just another example of the cycle between centralized and distributed computer and application use.

What do you think? Do you have some inside user scoop? Work for Google perhaps?

And I can't help myself....what's to keep Wal-mart from underpricing Google. You know they'll do it if it can be done. Ha.

Your Googling Fool Blogger,

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