Oh, they’re engaging in sophistry, but fooling no one. Google Apps “Grow Up” and the target is obvious.
It’s almost like they just kinda stumbled on Gmail as a “cool idea”. Then another cool idea was to make a few company purchases. Then another cool idea was to, oh, build some complementary apps such as Gmail, Google Talk, Google Calendar, Spreadsheets, Docs and then, like, bundle them all up. That would be cool. Unlike Office, which isn’t cool, and there’s no way anyone could possibly confuse the two.
Today, Google announce the next “cool, grassroots, off-the-cuff idea”:
“Google Apps Premier Edition is a new version designed to take on all the challenges presented by businesses with complex IT needs. For $50 per account per year, you get the whole Google Apps package plus many new business-oriented features, including access to our APIs and partner solutions (so itâ€™s easy to integrate with existing systems), conference room scheduling for Calendar, 10GB of inbox storage, extended business hours phone support, and mobile access to your email on BlackBerry devices (just in case you can’t get enough at the office). Already, companies big and small, like Procter & Gamble, General Electric Corporation, Prudential, and SF Bay Pediatrics, are talking about how this new version of Google Apps makes it easy to offer low-cost communication and collaboration tools to all their employees so they can get on with what they do best.”
$50?!? Now that’s disruptive!
Will Google make any money out of it? Hard to see how. Will advertising work in this environment? I doubt it. Will it punch an enormous hole in Microsofts Office revenue stream?
That’s the interesting bit…