Here is what I love about covering Google.
Google will tell you until it’s blue in the face that its Google Apps doesn’t compete with Microsoft Office or SharePoint applications because Apps is geared toward collaboration while Microsoft focuses on productivity. What?! People collaborate to be more productive.
Sarcasm aside, Apps naysayers (and they do exist–check out this post on ReadWriteWeb blasting Google Apps and lauding Microsoft) will say Apps doesn’t compete with Microsoft because it lacks the functionality of Office or SharePoint.
What is my reason for broaching this now? Yesterday, I spoke to Scott Johnston, product manager of the newly launched Google Sites, who acknowledged that SharePoint has more features. However, it was actually in the context of good old-fashioned competitive slander.
Johnston noted that competing collaboration software products like Microsoft’s SharePoint are expensive and hard to implement. “They have a ton of features but in the end, because of the complexity, you rarely get the value you need out of those features. It’s a huge burden to IT. The projects to implement such solutions are unbelievable.”
Note to Google product managers and execs: You can officially stop saying Apps doesn’t compete with Microsoft’s products. You may shy away from it because your Apps don’t all work offline, or because you don’t do those things listed in the ReadWriteWeb post.
But when your software feature functionality draws closer to Microsoft’s, you will flip that switch and start browbeating them publicly, so you might as well get comfortable with the competitive FUD.
That is, until your ad dollars shrink so much that you have to join Microsoft and IBM in charging users for using your applications. Ouch!