Business Google Innovation Microsoft Software & Hardware Technology

What next for Google?

There’s every chance that Google are hoping to occupy some kind of space either peripheral to, or on the edge of Microsoft Office.

To qualify this claim, it’s actually very simple: Microsoft Office is a monumental piece of software engineering, which Google can’t hope to replicate.

Buying in talent, or even a pre-existing office suite, such as OpenOffice, is the best that they can do, but even that doesn’t give businesses who’ve interwoven Microsoft’s flagship business software into their workflow a good enough reason to move to something else, no matter what the time or cost saving.

It’s about that all-important comfort zone. A place few businesses are tempted to move from.

And it’s not all sweet roses and light with their Google Apps, either:

“A Network World Lab Alliance review said a ‘lack of administrative control and security measures that IT execs are accustomed to make Google’s hosted suite of applications unsuited for deployment beyond specialized or distributed workgroups.’”

So what do Google have in mind?

I think there’s plenty of room for a Google pseudo office suite. Something light-weight, web-based from the ground up and with an emphasis on collaboration.

When you look at Google’s recent purchase of Marratech’s video conferencing software, there’s the shape of things to come to be seen by looking into the curvaceous shadow of Apple:

“While Apple wasn’t the first to focus on video chatting, it surely was the first to fit its entire consumer focused computer line-up with cameras. Today, most laptop makers have started to include cameras in their laptops, and slowly but surely, the video conferencing (or chatting) has started to take off.”

Corporate YouTube, anyone?

All of that fast & furious video conferencing needs to be archived, right? And is this going to be a video-only thing? Of course not, especially when we have the Google Talk client, all kinds of things begin to make themselves seen.

Imagine embedding your IM (Instant Messaging) chat histories directly into your Google Docs & Spreadsheets documents, along with your videos, stored on your company YouTube account.

Imagine your Blogger account linking into your corporate website, which is already hooked into Google Docs & Spreadsheets.

Imagine using your Google Calendar account as a visual finder to your company assets, as well as being your personal and shared events diary.

Imagine your new Google presentation application pulling in your video, your documents and your pictures from Flickr or Photobucket.

Imagine synchronizing all of your stuff, no matter where you are in the world.

Imagine everything wrapped up in a sophisticated yet invisible CMS (Content Management System.)

Just imagine, indeed…

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By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

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