Good and Bad of Google Apps

    February 22, 2007

Google today introduced Google Apps Premier Edition, a more advanced paid version of Google Apps .  Google launched Google Apps as a free service August 2006.  Google Apps Premier Edition will be available for free until April 30, 2007 and then cost $50 per  user account per year.

This is Google’s first direct assault  with a paid service that competes directly with Microsoft. Not surprisingly many bloggers and pundits have opinions.

AMR Research analyst Jim Murphy said, "This is just the beginning. The real impact of what Google is trying to do probably won’t be evident for another five years."  Nucleus Research analyst Rebecca Wettemann referenced how this might make businesses rethink buying Microsoft’s Office 2007, "The timing [of this offer] is just brutal for Microsoft. It’s definitely a shot across their bow."

Kyle McNabb of Forrester Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts sees Google’s move as very interesting,  "The irony here is that Microsoft became popular in business by solving individual problems with applications such as Word, Excel and other programs. Guess who’s doing that same thing now? Google. This puts pressure on Microsoft to return to putting more focus on the individual user."

Marshall Kirkpatrick of SplashCast praises Google’s innovation. "Its nearly full-service suite of sophisticated, integrated online services is something of historic proportion. Google’s technological brilliance is only beginning to be recognized. What do I mean by that? I mean that with its powerful algorithms to analyze and contextualize information, combined with its growing catalogue of information to analyze – Google is an epoch defining company. Send the world’s business communication through Google and the machine gets a whole lot smarter."

Technology blogger Mark Evans asks, "Is Google the new Microsoft? He comments, "If mantra number one at Google is “Do No Evil”; then number two has apparently been “We’re Not Going Head to Head with Microsoft”. Google may intend to be a good corporate citizen but there’s no doubt it has Microsoft firmly in its strategic sites."

Slashdott’ers generally slammed Google Apps Premier Edition ….

"Forgive my ignorance, but I thought that everyone except Google believes GChat to be a great time-waster, not something you’d offer to your corporate clients to increase productivity at work…?"

"Google’s email is great, but their Spreadsheet and Word Processor solutions are nowhere near as sophisticated as MS Office. And in an office environment, many of those differences do matter."

"I just don’t see the reason to pay 50 bucks for this. It’s only a competitive price if your offering a competitive product."

"If I use Google they have everything and can and will copy and use it to their benefit, and perhaps your competitors benefit."

"Um…it was fun to play with while it was free. $50/year for these toys is a bit much."