Despite the denials we’ve all known it was coming for awhile. Now it’s official. Google has announced that it has created a software platform for basic business activities. The free web based platform, called Google Apps for Your Domain, is made up of existing programs Google already offers, but by grouping them into a platform it’s a clear signal the company plans on competing directly with Microsoft for the office web services space.
Don’t expect anything new with the current platform. The programs are most likely all familiar to you and include Gmail, Google Talk, Google Calendar, and Google Page Creator. Chance are you’ve already used one of more of them. The idea is that you can use the different programs across your domain so all of your employees can communicate with Google Talk over your domain or share calendars to better coordinate meetings.
Everything is still housed on Google servers and you set things up through your domain control panel. Your domain will need to be accepted by Google before you can use the platform. This could prove to be a viable solution for businesses where employees don’t work in the same office and for those that don’t mind allowing their company information to site on a server outside the organization. Of course you could find similar programs with the same functionality that you could install yourself.
One possibly large advantage of having everything on Google servers is that your company will not need to maintain or install software on your company computers freeing your business from the IT support hours that would typically arise from maintaining your own software. Having this taken care of at Google could be a great boon to small businesses with no IT department or inclination to have one.
What’s most interesting though is that the new apps are in direct competition with Microsoft for the web services space. No doubt in time Google will offer more programs to Domain Apps such as Writely, the online word processing program, and Google Spreadsheets, and really any other office program they decide to purchase or create. Let’s see, maybe a database program and some presentation software are in the plans. My guess is if it’s included in Microsoft’s Live Office it will in time find it’s way into Google Apps for Your Domain.
Everything is free for now though Google has said it will offer a premium version for a fee in the futrue. The paid version will be ad free which the free version is not and also offer more administrative control for larger corporations. I would think their will also be a version for those wishing to install everything on company servers instead of allowing their information to be stored at Google.
Google maintains the new Apps platform isn’t meant to replace Microsoft’s core software, but who are they kidding. Of course that’s exactly what they are trying to do. If they say they aren’t now it’s only because the new Apps platform isn’t ready to compete yet. Realistically what other plans would they have for the new software if not to compete with anyone who makes software for the office. Google isn’t the only company trying to compete in this space after all. Perhaps a Google operating system like YouOS isn’t really that far off.
Google To Provide Advertising For eBay
It seems like yesterday everyone was talking about how Google and eBay were going to be mortal enemies with the competition between PayPal and Google Checkout, but apparently the two companies can still work out a deal.
Google will now become the exclusive provider of text advertising for eBay websites outside of the U.S. Earlier in the year Yahoo became the exclusive provider of image based ads for eBay’s U.S. website, which is part of what stirred the talk of an eBay Google rivalry. As part of the agreement Google and eBay will also make their click to call services work together so users and merchants will be able to talk over either Google Talk or Skype. Both companies will also work to give the Talk and Skype services more interoperability in general outside the eBay site so the anyone using either can send instant messages and talk to each other.
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