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Is it time to sell out to Google?

posted under category: General on October 11, 2006 at 1:00 am by MrNate

I don't mean for my daily searching. I mean for all of my typical work (minus programming). Exactly how wrong is it to completely sell out?

Today, Google released Google Docs, which basically googlized Writely and strengthened their link to Google Spreadsheets. I've been using both for a while, for personal, portable docs, and you can tell that things are really starting to get exciting. Without expending too much brainpower, anyone can see where they're going.

Google Docs and Google Spreadsheets are the cornerstone of their office offering. Combine that with GMail and Google Calendar, whose integration with each other is becoming completely awesome, and you've got 90% of the typical use for most office suites.

Of course, no one's office is the same as any others. Some of them offer presentation software, some drawing software, some note taking, most have basic web site tools. Open Office has a mathematical equasion tool. Microsoft has a diagaraming app and a project management app. Corel has a photo editor. KDE's KOffice has all of this, plus dedicated charting and reporting tools. Google has mapping and searching built in.

I think that Google's office is almost completely viable in this space. What's missing? What's coming next? Other than the possibility of a new tool here or there, I'd say it's obvious what's next. Packaging. Google Office Suite is coming soon. It's already so close. They only need a central launching point for their tools. I can see many opportunities for central launching points, such as the google personalized homepage, gmail, search results pages, etc. The google talk desktop app would be my personal favorite.

Very soon now we'll start seeing "Web 2.0"-style companies switching to Google as their central document repository and dealing with customers and clients through the Google Office.

Next step? The Google Hosted Office Solution! Stay tuned...

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On Oct 11, 2006 at 1:00 AM Brad ( or said:
Next step...Ads in your documents.

I'm not sure if my clients (or me for that matter) would like their private information run through Google. Did you know when you delete GMail that Google keeps it in their database? You can't see it, but it's still indexed somewhere.

They offer some cool stuff, but they're not going to give something away for free. It may cost $0, but they're getting something that is valuable to Google. Anybody want to guess what that is?

End rant. Back to work on my tin foil hat.

On Oct 12, 2006 at 1:00 AM Dan Morphis ( said:
We use Google spreadsheets at the office for our scrum backlogs. It works surprisingly well at allowing 7 people to update the same spreadsheet and propagating those changes to all who have subscribed.

As a side note, when are you going to add an RSS feed?

On Oct 12, 2006 at 1:00 AM Nathan Strutz ( said:
The RSS feed is on the main tech blog page, you can see it instantly in firefox, and you can find the link at the very bottom.

On Oct 13, 2006 at 1:00 AM Matt Williams ( said:
I'm loving the on-line software stuff. It is getting to be less important that I have "my computer" handy. I can just login from whatever computer and access my stuff. I've also been using some of 37 Signals tools such as BaseCamp.
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