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Friday, February 23, 2007

Google offers all of its free apps now as a service

On the Google Blog they announced the availability of their applications in a convenient subscription model. Now you can pay $50 per user, per year, and get all their wonderful free apps. They are calling the bundle Google Apps Enterprise.

They are also offering editions for families and groups, small businesses, and schools.

Wait a minute, I can pay for something that they have been offering for free? Let me jump on that train.

I'm not sure how successful this is going to be, of course Google has eleventy hundred gillion users, but really, are the apps that good?

I haven't used Calendar or spreadsheets, and only briefly used Talk. I use Documents sometimes, but if they discontinued the free service and started charging $1 a month, I would quit using it so fast that my Google cookie would be left hanging in the air, spinning around.

I had joked that one day in the future I would reminisce about the good old days when Microsoft almost had a Monopoly on operating systems and software, because now Google controls everything. Maybe this is the beginning. Maybe next it will be Google Democracy.

Thanks to Paul Thurrott for pointing it out.

Update: Wired News has a article titled "Google Apps: Should you switch?" and there were a few things that I thought were wrong about it.

1. The Article States that:
"Pricing is set at $50 per user per year, less expensive than Microsoft Office but with much the same functionality. Microsoft has its own web-based suite of tools in Office Live, but the company's offering doesn't match Google's. And Google isn't going after Office Live, it's going after Office."
Um, no Offense Michal Calore, but have you actually used the two sets of applications?

Google Docs isn't even close to Word. I haven't used spreadsheets at all, but I'm sure that it is limited as well. Sure, if you need a word processor, then go ahead and use Docs and Spreadsheets, but I just could not imaging using Google Docs and Spreadsheets exclusively.

2. He does mention that there isn't a PowerPoint equivalent, although I thought I had read that there was a Google Presentation app coming out, I haven't seen it. Yes, PowerPoint is a hugely popular program, but let's not forget Access. I know Google Base can't compete with that.

I also think that there isn't an Outlook killer either, at least not for a corporate environment. Outlook has a whole slew of nice features that GMail and Calendar just can't match.

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