Crossroads

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Microsoft vs. Google

The below article is from today's WSJ. Outlook vs. gmail and Google Calendar; Word vs. Writely and now spreadsheets. You can see the encroachment by Google and the question is whether it will stick to the market. For Wednesday, please read the Ray Ozzie and Bill Gates email to MSFT employees. We will discuss Microsoft, in light of the Google challenge, in detail.

Google Plans to ReleaseSpreadsheet Application
By KEVIN J. DELANEYJune 5, 2006 8:03 p.m.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Google Inc. plans Tuesday to release a Web-based spreadsheet application, in a further foray into Microsoft Corp.'s traditional turf.
Google Spreadsheets follows Google's March purchase of a company offering Web- based word processor Writely. The two free Web-based Google services overlap with Microsoft's core Excel spreadsheet and Word word processing software. Google's offerings highlight a nascent challenge to such traditional software applications by a range of Web-based services.
Consumers will access Google Spreadsheets through Web browsers, rather than having to install any software on their computer hard drives, in contrast with Excel. Spreadsheet documents users create will be saved on Google computers. That will allow consumers to give other users access to view and edit them over the Web. Multiple users will be able to simultaneously edit the same spreadsheet, and type messages to each other in a separate window. Consumers will be able to import to and export from the service spreadsheets that are formatted as Microsoft Excel documents or comma-separated-value files.
Google said the new offering was a simple, early release that lacked some sophisticated features such as the ability to create charts or drag and drop data within a spreadsheet. The company will release the service to an unspecified number of users who add their names to a waiting list. Each user will be able to store up to 50 spreadsheets initially.
Google played down any rivalry with Microsoft Excel. "I see them as complementary," said Jonathan Rochelle, product manager for Google Spreadsheets. "I know a lot of users will use both."
Microsoft General Manager Alan Yates said that the new Google offering is one of a field of similar products competitive with Microsoft's Office and Works productivity applications. "There's nothing new here really," Mr.Yates said. "Microsoft Office is the clear leader in what's always been a really competitive space."

8 Comments:

Blogger LeftBack said...

Google Spreadsheets, a web-based application, will undoubtedly snatch some market share from Microsoft because it offers features -- like allowing multiple users to edit the same spreadsheet – which Excel doesn’t. But Google Spreadsheet’s greatest strength is also its weakness. Spreadsheets usually contain a company’s vital information, like customer databases, invoices, and other financial information. I consider it unlikely that any large company would:

1) Expose this information over the web to potential hackers or other unauthorized observers through the remote editing capability.

2) Allow critical information to reside on the hard drive of an outside organization, even one as reputable as Google.

I also feel the technology Google is proposing wouldn’t be too hard to replicate by Microsoft, especially considering they own Excel and because they are the ones who created the web computer language .Net.

12:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As described in the economist article distributed, Google's business direction to move all the computation and data off PC and onto the network to create what is called "artificial intelligence".

In Korea, we already see those knolwedge management in the web site called "naver".

However, it is rather posting people's knowledge on the web site
rather than moving the whole data into the networked server.

On the other hand, at my work place, we save our files in the server conputer not the PC.

This has been very helpful as every team member can share the knowledge relevant to the project.

However, I think that the idea of collecting all data and saving it in the server is somewhat dangerous, although it is very convenient and is the way the world is headed to.

What is gonna happen if the server is hacked and all the data is deleted or misused for the bad purpose?

Or if my confidential office documents are revealed or shared by accident?

I think it this service model,
the security and system stability issue is the thing that really should be taken care of before launching the service.

-Shim, Ji Young

12:42 PM  
Anonymous czy said...

Like mentioned above, I feel Google's launch is very ambitious but lacks security protection. I for one, would not want other people taking a look at my work. Even if it were for a team project, I would want to share it just with my team members, not random people over the world! However, it does seem like a possible substitute for blogs.

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Farhod Lapasov said...

As mentioned above the comments "Google Spreadsheets, a web-based application, will undoubtedly snatch some market share from Microsoft". Because, consumers will access Google Spreadsheets through Web browsers, rather than having to install any software on their computer hard drives, in contrast with Excel. This is one of the advantages of Google's to snatch market share from Google. I think, new service of Google Web- based word processor Writely will be very useful for office works.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Jinwoo IM said...

Yes, you guys alreay pointed out the some weak points of the web-based office program. In addition, I would like to point out the another problem, "speed". I'm using some web-based applications such as a patent mapping program. Although it is very useful and easy to use, I used to have the speed problem. In spite of the Google's super computing ability, those kinds of web-based programs are based on programming language like Java because by using those kinds of programming languages, the program can run independently from platforms. Almost all applications based on this technology cannot be faster than the application program based on API provided by MS.
Also, these kinds of web-based programs need Google to endure a lot more traffic than searching and mailing service.
Yet, I also agree that Google's web application will take a role to complement the MS office programs.

5:42 PM  
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