Blogosphere Reacts To Google's Desktop Plans - InformationWeek

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8/29/2006
08:48 PM
Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy
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Blogosphere Reacts To Google's Desktop Plans

Google's announcement of a new Web-based application suite has been the buzz of the tech blogosphere these past two days.

Google's announcement of a new Web-based application suite has been the buzz of the tech blogosphere these past two days.There was predictable scoffing at Google's contention that it isn't really looking to displace Office from employees' desktops. But here are four blog entries that raised fresh ideas. The first adds some ideas to one of our main points about the announcement: Better collaboration is the desperately underserved business need at the moment, and this still is Microsoft's game to lose.

Dare Obasanjo, a Microsoft employee, notes that business users aren't going to be in any hurry to sweep out the Office tools they already know well. The goal is better collaboration across disparate locations, he notes: "One approach could be replacing everything we have today with Web-based alternatives, the other could be making the desktop software we have today more Web savvy (or 'live' if you prefer the Microsoft lingo). I know which one I think is more realistic and more likely to be acceptable to businesses today."

Obasanjo also made a passing comment that the news media favors Google--overhyping new Google products while subjecting Microsoft to more intense criticism. That was enough to set Robert Scoble ruminating on the reasons why Google gets an easier pass, specifically on the reasons bloggers prefer Google over Microsoft. (Scoble's reason #3: Bloggers use Gmail.)

Nicholas Carr took a different tack from ours and most other coverage, which focused on the Microsoft vs. Google showdown. Carr, author of Does IT Matter?, forecasts a duopoly that will kill the innovation we hoped competition would bring: "The combined might of the two companies, with their vast user bases and their billions of dollars in annual investments in infrastructure, should put a chill, and probably a fatal one, into any other company looking to enter this market."

For those desperate to still believe in startups, Red Herring gives a rundown of 17 separate Web-based applications trying to become Office-killers, and Om Malik provides some perspective on why they're cropping up and the likelihood of their success.

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