I think staunch Web 2.0 advocates often miss the point when it comes to Google product releases:
“What drives this kind of blind enthusiasm? When is the last time Google released a product that really changed our lives?“
It’s not really about changing geeks lives. Constant Google product releases are about grabbing mindshare and audience in an increasingly fragmented technology market.
The criticism that Google Spreadsheets isn’t on par with Excel because it lacks features isn’t the point. The point is that Google Spreadsheets has enough features for most people, it is in their face, and it is free. That may not change geeks lives, but it is hugely disruptive, and will surely grab enough of an audience to be worth doing. In turn, this will funnel more people to Google services, and increase their leverage, which is rather important if you’re a media company.
Secondly, just because something won’t fly in corporate-land, doesn’t mean it is worthless. Apple doesn’t fly in corporate land, but last time I looked they appeared to be making rather a lot of money.
Perhaps Web 2.0 advocates see the writing on the wall. Their real competition is Google.