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Monday, August 28, 2006

Google expands into business software market - Yahoo! News

Interesting - Google are going to start trying to charge for their services instead of doing ad supported funding.
The Guardian found that people weren't willing to pay extra to get the content without ads (though many people seem willing to shell out for ad blockers...). I'd like to see figures on take-up of this service.
Especially because Google's mission statement with their adsense product is based on the idea that people will only see relevant, contextual advertising.
I would have expected that the main barrier to takeup of this service is the fact that the data will be hosted externally. It's all well and good to be using fancy free software, but what happens if Google loses your data? I'd bet a large amount of money that you sign away your rights to sue within the T&Cs. Some companies might have reservations about supplying Google with almost unlimited information about their company.
I can safely assume that i-level will not be sharing all our confidential files with Google anytime soon, and most companies want to have their data staying firmly under lock and key. The only way to acheive this is to use programmes that are stored locally on a user's computer, not on the internet.
Google should be able to break into the small business market with their web based services, but I would be surprised if any major corporation begins to use them. I wonder what percentage of money Microsoft makes from small businesses compared to the amount it makes from Corporate clients.
As Daniel said before, this may be a feint from Google to try and make Microsoft concentrate on releasing too many different products, but it might be able to hurt Microsoft right in the belly if it can capture a good amount of market share in this area.


  • Call it gut feeling or whatever the male equivalent of female intuition is, but I can't see these server-side apps taking off for many companies.

    Several reasons:

    - Their software's not really very good compared to desktop software. Gmail's great compared to Hotmail, but who would use it over Outlook networked around the office? And Google Page Creator? Who are they aiming this at exactly?

    And as you say:

    - Who's going to want to give Google their sensitive data? Gmail caused enough furore about privacy, and all they store is my mundane chatter and newsletters from Popbitch.

    - And what are you going to do when Google loses all your data or terminates your account without warning, and then you get a wall of silence from their email support address?

    I really think Google is barking up the wrong tree targetting businesses. (Although I suppose it has to go somewhere now its had its fun annoying book publishers).

    By Blogger Daniel, at 3:52 pm  

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