Move over Microsoft, no Sun, we are not going to pay for Star Office;
Google is developing what may be their own productivity package the
old-fashioned way by acquiring Upstartle, whose product Writely is an
open-source AJAX style web-based word processor. And, Google has
already used their techniques for Gmail and Maps.
But is it enough to pose a real threat to their competition, can they
beat Yahoo! to the punch, and will it be free? Granted, there are other
tools out there, and Microsoft's Works package is typically free for
anyone who buys a new computer. But if some upstart were to do it
better, utilizing Google's enormous distribution platform could make
things interesting again.
What is interesting is the buzz this news is having in the blogosphere.
SEO is speculating that Gdrive is a serious threat to Microsoft's
codependence on hard drive applications. Microsoft did try,
unsuccessfully, to make progress by implementing their confusing .NET
strategy, of which pundits didn't really trust Microsoft or any other
company to store information online. But will Google, who is already
trusted to store email infinitely, be able to win users' trust?
Slashdot is even suggesting that Gmail will have a calendar program
built into it. So much for Outlook.
Google has to win over the marketplace the old-fashioned way; by
oversimplifying the interface and making the software so user friendly
a two year old can be productive. This is how Microsoft was able to
tear into Corel, and how Google will usher in the next generation of