An invasion every now and then
Around two months ago I had written a column titled The Encroaching Tiger. Now again Google is keeping the heat on Microsoft.
Google is bent on invading right into the heart of Microsoft heads on. No guerilla tactics, no behind the back strategies or even remote diplomacy. Pure war, heads on.
The war of desktop supremacy has been on for three years now. But the attacks got direct only recently when Google acquired Writely a direct competitor of MS Word. It's then took the war further by the overnight launch of Google Spreadsheet.
The story continues - Google docs and spreadsheets
Writely now rechristened as Google Docs and Spreadsheets have been combined launched today. The application has a WYSIWYG editor with spell check and more.
It lets you upload Word documents, OpenOffice, RTF, HTML or text. Lets you download documents to your desktop as Word, PDF and more. Also let's you view your documents' revision history and roll back to any version.
Since it's online you can also invite others to share your documents by e-mail address. Edit documents online with whomever you choose. Publish documents online to the world, or to just who you choose. Post your documents to your blog.
There is no cost involved and it is currently available only in English.
The definitive superiority of MS Office
I am definitely no lover of Microsoft. Yes I am a Google lover and it's an awesome organisation. It also sends me a cheque every month for my ad sense. But in this age and time Google Docs and Spreadsheets is nothing compared to MS Office.
Let's get this in perspective. MS Office is used by organisations, I repeat organisations, who need functionalities, support, and the ability to decide what goes online and what doesn't.
Google fails on all counts.
Functionalities - MS Office clear winner
The functionalities are nothing compared to Microsoft's MS Office. MS Office having been in the business for many years now is simply far superior. Google Docs can best be called a dignified version of Wordpad.
Support - Google "What's that?"
Support. A seven letter word of immense importance to any enterprise. Google offers none of that at all. User forums sometimes aren't the best way of dealing with support. When organisations pay they want support. But here no payment is involved so I guess no support.
Agreed this is the electronic age. But an organisation definitely doesn't want all its documents available on the web. All documents on the web is giving chance to an innovative hacker to actually play around with them. There are several documents which organisations definitely do not want to keep on the world wide web even if it's locked through a user name and password.
The last word
Google Docs and Spreadsheets will be a hit definitely. Hotmail was a hit so was Gmail. Both are free. But one question in the corporate world what email identity does your CEO and your boss and your manager and your subordinate use? I bet it's your organisation.com identity.
Documents and spreadsheets for an organisation are very serious business. The issue of free isn't enticing enough. Functions, support and confidentiality are more important.