Friday, March 10, 2006

AJAX rules!

mar 10th

google makes a move on microsoft office. yaay! you guys, better learn AJAX.

Google's leaders can finally stop pretending that the company doesn't have designs on Microsoft's core PC software business .  On Thursday, the search sovereign said it had acquired Upstartle , makers of Writely, a browser-based word processing application . Google declined to disclose the terms of the acquisition. Nor did it explain how the service would be integrated into its software architecture. But it's pretty clear where this is all heading: a productivity suite. To refresh, Google which has no plans whatsoever to compete with Microsoft's core PC software business now offers an e-mail program with built in IM and upwards of 2.5 gigabytes of storage space and an HTML editor. It's developing a universally accessible network drive and  a calendar program, and it just acquired a a Web-based word processor. If that's not the meat of a hosted desktop productivity suite, Sergey Brin shops at Goodwill. All Google needs now are spreadsheet and presentation programs and it's got itself a challenger to Microsoft's Information Worker cash cow.

"To understand why this deal is Pearl Harbor for Microsoft, and a declaration of all out war for Google, I think one has to make a leap and consider that this isn't about applications," OpenWave's Gary Edwards writes . "It's about the quality of the information experience one can find at Google, or, through the costly nightmare of maintaining a similar experience through revolving MS shrinkware. ... Writely lives on the Internet, in the same space as Google information, enabling mankind to collaboratively work with Wiki and Blog information. The collaboration is both human and machine in that when someone logs into a Writely document space, they do so riding high on their computational machines. Okay, so now we have Writely able to bridge the traditional desktop productivity environment with the Wiki, Blog and eMail collaboration tools. Because of the space it occupies, Writely is also in flow of all that Google information and information organization services. ... The killer for Microsoft is that they now face an open stack of highly structured, Internet ready information services that with the flick of the download switch could easily stretch across the over 450 million desktops that make up the mighty Windows monopoly base, over every Linux, OSX, and Solaris desktop, up through Writely collaboration services, through the Google mash of services and information and out across the Open Internet, and back again."

So the technology for a challenge is coming together, but what it will really come down to is something even Google can't buy: trust. For all the convenience and savings that an online suite might offer, users -- especially business users -- will have to decide if they want their data on their own machines or on Google's, where it could be subject to theft, loss or subpoena. As unloved as Microsoft may be, Google's offering will have to be a suite deal indeed to get an increasingly (with good reason) paranoid public to make that leap.

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