Google: The Accidental Enterprise Software King?
Internet search giant Google recently introduced a series of new products, and has more in the works, that suggest the company may be making its move to claim the heart of the business computer desktop.
This is all implied, of course; the word "enterprise" was never uttered during the entire 6-hour Google Press Day event here on May 10. Yet, plenty of products were unveiled that might interest a corporation.
There's a slicker version of Google's desktop search, which, along with a Sidebar feature, provides a collaborative tool that searches other computers. New features from a collection Google calls Google Gadgets can be easily plugged into the setup.
Another new feature helps the user understand exactly what people are searching for at Google. That's powerful information for any company that has a Web site, and for the equipment vendor supplying those firms.
And, sooner rather than later, Google plans to add more Internet telephony features to Google Talk, an instant messaging application that, like its competitors, offers a way to make free Internet phone calls. VOIP (voice-over-IP) technology is a growing favorite with enterprises.
During a brief interview, Google CEO Eric Schmidt indicated that the company has many Internet telephony features to introduce. "Expect a lot more from us in this space," he said.
All this follows up the release of Google Calendar, an online day planner that any executive could easily incorporate into the daily routine.
Google is also expected to soon release an Internet-based word processor, a type of application that is an enterprise desktop staple.
There's also a lineup of Google-made computer servers aimed for enterprise use. The servers contain a souped-up version of Google's Internet search engine.
If you're keeping score, that's a lot of the desktop software that enterprises may be interested in.
Sure, Google executives spent much of Press Day saying how committed they are to Internet search, but it sure sounded like they are also trying to sneak in a little time at the office.