Google Eats Its Own Doc Food

    August 29, 2007

“You first” is a standard response to many questionable situations.  And while the average person probably doesn’t use that phrase in connection with software, Google wants to prove that its Docs & Spreadsheets program is good enough for widespread use.

“At Google, it’s common to use our own products internally,” explained Ken Norton, a Google Docs & Spreadsheets product manager.  “In software industry parlance, we ‘eat our own dog food.’  (We like to think that Google products are tastier than kibble, but we’ll leave that alone for now.)  This is especially true for Google Apps.”

Norton’s post likely comes in response to a report that circulated last week.  To sum it up, Network World’s Jon Brodkin wrote, “Deploying Google Apps could be a ‘career-limiting move for enterprise architects’ if they expect too much from the software-as-a-service collaboration suite and its ‘rudimentary’ feature set.”  Not exactly a glowing endorsement, eh?

So on the Official Google Docs & Spreadsheets Blog, Norton stated, “Here are some statistics: 87% of Google employees worldwide used Docs & Spreadsheets in the past week and 96% have used it in the past month.  Googlers have created and shared more than 370,000 documents and spreadsheets and they create more than 3,000 new ones each day.”

As someone who creates a mere eight or so documents per day, I’m pretty impressed by those numbers; the overall “sturdiness” of the software has to be beyond all doubt at this point.  Unfortunately, Norton doesn’t address concerns about the (lack of) features offered by Google’s software; Google’s dog food may or may not be missing some important ingredients.